Survey of pollinator species in Beira Interior

Introduction and general objectives 

In the Beira Interior region, as in the rest of the country, pollinators are almost entirely insects. This group includes in Portugal more than a thousand species distributed between bees, flower flies, butterflies and other groups that have different contributions in the vital pollination service and that respond differently to changes in the landscape and the management of agricultural production areas. The study of pollination and pollinators carried out by FLOWer lab during the CULTIVAR project has as a by-product the creation of new records of insect species, as the result of field sampling and maintenance of the entomological collection of FLOWer lab.  

It is expected the presence of several hundred pollinator species, many of them still to be reported. A first paper resulting from the identification of insects sampled during the 2021 season (under revision, September 2022), doubled the number of known wild bee species in the region, reporting one species new to science and a new record for Portugal. These first results highlight the biodiversity present in the CULTIVAR study area and the importance and care that should be directed to it. It is also expected to publish the list of species collected in the 2022 field season. 



In the 2021 season, all insects were captured in the locality of Vale de Prazeres, Fundão, for the work “Pollination services in agroecosystems: variation in time and space”, with monthly samplings for 1 year in 12 habitats typologies around an agricultural production area (included). 

In the following year (2022) sampling was carried out under the work “Mapping pollination services in Beira Interior”, at two times of the year (beginning and end of spring) in 33 sampling sites distributed over 3 bio-geographical zones and 11 habitat typologies. 

After collection, all specimens are processed and some are kept in an entomological collection. They are then identified in the laboratory using taxonomic literature and technical expertise. The end result is the publication of species lists, in addition to the ecological data that will be associated with them in other works. 


Techniques used 

Specimen processing in morpho-species. 
Mounting of specimens. 
Maintenance of entomological collection. 
Observation and identification of specimens under magnifying glass using taxonomic identification literature and technical expertise. 

Responsible team 

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

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