, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 789–802 | Cite as

Complementarity and redundancy in the functional niche of cider apple pollinators

  • Marcos MiñarroEmail author
  • Daniel García
Original article


The magnitude and the stability of pollination services in entomophilous crops both depend not only on honeybee management but also on the diversity of wild pollinators, which enables additive contributions and replacement of species. This work evaluated the functional niche of cider apple pollinators in Spain and found a highly heterogeneous community of pollinators in taxonomic and functional terms. Through different niche dimensions, our results suggest complementarity (i.e. niche differentiation) in the contribution of the various groups to pollination, through differences in abundance, foraging behaviour, diet and daytime and canopy distribution patterns, as well as redundancy (i.e. niche similarity) in their responses to environmental conditions. Thus, quantitative and qualitative complementarity would promote an additive effect of different insects on pollination, while similarity in environmental response would provide insurance against potential honeybee loss.


crop pollination environmental response foraging behaviour Malus domestica spatio-temporal patterns 



We thank R. Martínez-Sastre, A. Núñez, C. Guardado, D. Luna, K. Twizell and A. Somoano for technical support; R. Lendrum for linguistic advice; Campoastur S. Coop. Asturiana for orchard selection; the orchard owners for providing access to their properties; and L.O. Aguado, P. Alvarez and J. Ortiz for taxonomic support. Funding was provided by grants INIA-RTA2013-00139-C03-01 (Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MinECo) and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional) to MM and PCIN2014-145-C02-02 (MinECo; EcoFruit project BiodivERsA-FACCE2014-74) and CGL2015-68963-C2-2-R (MinECo/FEDER) to DG.

Author contribution

MM and DG conceived and designed the research, collected field data, analysed the data and wrote the manuscript, which both authors have approved.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no potential conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13592_2018_600_MOESM1_ESM.docx (79 kb)
ESM 1. (DOCX 79 kb)


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Copyright information

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario (SERIDA)VillaviciosaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología de Organismos y SistemasUniversidad de Oviedo, y Unidad Mixta de Investigación en Biodiversidad (CSIC-Uo-PA)OviedoSpain

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