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PeerJ. 2014 Feb 27;2:e269. doi: 10.7717/peerj.269. eCollection 2014.

Landscape fragmentation and pollinator movement within agricultural environments: a modelling framework for exploring foraging and movement ecology.

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1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol , Bristol , United Kingdom.

Abstract

Pollinator decline has been linked to landscape change, through both habitat fragmentation and the loss of habitat suitable for the pollinators to live within. One method for exploring why landscape change should affect pollinator populations is to combine individual-level behavioural ecological techniques with larger-scale landscape ecology. A modelling framework is described that uses spatially-explicit individual-based models to explore the effects of individual behavioural rules within a landscape. The technique described gives a simple method for exploring the effects of the removal of wild corridors, and the creation of wild set-aside fields: interventions that are common to many national agricultural policies. The effects of these manipulations on central-place nesting pollinators are varied, and depend upon the behavioural rules that the pollinators are using to move through the environment. The value of this modelling framework is discussed, and future directions for exploration are identified.

KEYWORDS:

Behavioural ecology; Behavioural rules; Bumblebee; Ecosystem services; Foraging distance; Honeybee; Movement ecology; Pollinator biology; Random walk; Simulation

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