CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

Even small forest patches increase bee visits to flowers in an oil palm plantation landscape

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Pollination sustains biodiversity and food security, but pollinators are threatened by habitat degradation, fragmentation, and loss. We assessed how remaining forest influenced bee visits to flowers in an oil palm-dominated landscape in Borneo. We observed bee visits to six plant species: four crops (Capsicum frutescens L. “chili”; Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai “watermelon”; Solanum lycopersicum L. “tomato”; and Solanum melongena L. “eggplant”); one native plant Melastoma malabathricum L. “melastome”; and the exotic Turnera subulata Smith “turnera”. We made one local grid-based and one landscape-scale transect-based study spanning 208 and 2130 m from forest, respectively. We recorded 1249 bee visits to 4831 flowers in 1046 ten-min observation periods. Visit frequency varied among plant species, ranging from 0 observed visits to S. lycopersicum to a mean of 0.62 visits per flower per 10 min to C. lanatus. Bee visitation frequency declined with distance from forest in both studies, with expected visitation frequency decreasing by 55% and 66% at the maximum distance from forest in each study. We also tested whether the distance to the nearest oil palm patch, with a maximum distance of 144 m, influenced visitation, but found no such associations. Expected visitation frequency was 70%–77% lower for plants close to a 200 ha forest fragment compared with those near large continuous forests (>400 ha). Our results suggest that, although found throughout the oil palm-dominated landscape, bees depend on remaining forests. Larger forests support more bees, though even a 50 ha fragment has a positive contribution.

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    Power, C.C.; Nielsen, A.; Sheil, D.




    pollination, bees, oil palms, plantations, landscape, biodiversity



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