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PeerJ. 2018 Jul 20;6:e5335. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5335. eCollection 2018.

Habitat and landscape factors influence pollinators in a tropical megacity, Bangkok, Thailand.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
2
Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Meglun, Mengla, Yunnan, China.
3
Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.
4
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.

Abstract

Background:

Pollinators are well known for the ecosystem services they provide, and while urban areas are generally perceived as low-quality habitat for most wildlife, these cities often support a surprising degree of pollinator diversity. The current rapid growth of urban areas and concern over global pollinator declines have spurred numerous studies examining pollinator communities in temperate cities, but knowledge about tropical urban pollinators remains scarce.

Methods:

This study investigated the effects of habitat and landscape factors on pollinator richness and abundance in a highly-populated, tropical city: Bangkok, Thailand. We conducted pollinator observations in 52 green areas throughout the city and collected data on patch size, floral abundance, plant richness, location type, and percent vegetation at five spatial scales.

Results:

Of the 18,793 pollinators observed, over 98% were bees. Both patch size and floral abundance generally had positive effects on pollinators, although there was a significant interaction between the two factors; these findings were generally consistent across all focal taxa (Tetragonula stingless bees, Apis honey bees, Xylocopa carpenter bees, and butterflies).

Discussion:

Our results demonstrate the importance of maintaining large green areas in cities, since small green areas supported few pollinators, even when floral resources were abundant. Moreover, most pollinator taxa utilized a variety of location types (e.g., public parks, school campuses, temple grounds), with the exception of butterflies, which preferred parks. Our findings are generally consistent with those of temperate urban studies, but additional studies in the tropics are needed before global patterns can be assessed.

KEYWORDS:

Bees; Fragmentation; Pollination; Southeast Asia; Urbanization

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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