Sweat bees on hot chillies: provision of pollination services by native bees in traditional slash-and-burn agriculture in the Yucatán Peninsula of tropical Mexico

Periodo de realización: 2016/06/01 al 2016/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Resumen: "1. Traditional tropical agriculture often entails a form of slash-and-burn land management that may adversely affect ecosystem services such as pollination, which are required for successful crop yields. The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico has a >4000 year history of traditional slash-and-burn agriculture, termed ‘milpa’. Hot ‘Habanero’ chilli is a major pollinator-dependent crop that nowadays is often grown in monoculture within the milpa system. We studied 37 local farmers’ chilli fields (sites) to evaluate the effects of land use on bee community composition and, within 11 of these sites, we undertook experimental pollination treatments to quantify the pollination of chilli. We further explored the relationships between land use, bee community composition and pollination service provision to chilli. Bee species richness, particularly species of the family Apidae, was positively related to the amount of forest cover. Species diversity decreased with increasing proportion of crop land surrounding each sampling site. Sweat bees of the genus Lasioglossum were the most abundant bee taxon in chilli fields and, in contrast to other bee species, increased in abundance with the proportion of fallow-land, gardens and pastures. There was an average pollination shortfall of 21% for chilli across all sites"

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