Pollination services in agroecosystems: variation in time and space

Introduction and general objectives 

Habitat quality and landscape structure represent key factors for plant and pollinator communities. In agroecosystems, neglecting the human impact and dominance of poor habitats poses a threat to pollination services, essential for wild plants and economically important crops. 

During the year 2021-2022, an assessment of the intra-annual variation of plant and pollinator communities was carried out in a diverse and highly fragmented agroecosystem around a Prunus orchard. The study was carried out over 12 months, in 12 different habitats with different types of land use and human management, in an agricultural mosaic located in the Castelo Branco region. Plant-pollinator interactions were surveyed, and the abundance and diversity of insect and flowering plant communities were assessed for each habitat. The habitats studied included, for example, agricultural and forestry habitats (vineyards, meadows, pine forests, orchards) and semi-natural habitats (such as thickets, hedges and semi-natural forests). 



12 different habitats were studied, in which the following assessments were carried out: 

  • sampling of the abundance and diversity of pollinating insect communities 
  • sampling of the abundance and diversity of plant communities 
  • observation of plant-pollinator interactions 
  • assessment of the quality of nesting habitats for pollinator populations 


Techniques used 

  • Sweep net technique 
  • Directed insect capture 
  • Census observation by user 
  • Square squares (1m2) 

Responsible team 

Catarina Siopa (PhD student (FCT) – CEF-UC) 
Hugo Gaspar (Cultivar technician) 
Sara Lopes (PhD student (FCT) – CFE-UC) 
Sílvia Castro (CEF-UC) 
João Loureiro (CEF-UC) 
Ana Afonso (CFE-UC) 
Ricardo Casqueiro (CFE-UC) 

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