Advertisement

Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 463–476 | Cite as

Bee-friendly community gardens: Impact of environmental variables on the richness and abundance of exotic and native bees

  • James C. Makinson
  • Caragh G. Threlfall
  • Tanya Latty
Article

Abstract

With their abundant floral resources, urban community gardens have the potential to play an important role in pollinator conservation. At the same time, the gardens themselves are dependent upon the pollination services provided by insects. Thus, understanding the variables that can increase bee richness or abundance in community gardens can contribute to both urban agriculture and pollinator conservation. Here we examine the impact of several environmental variables on bee abundance and diversity in urban community gardens in Sydney, Australia. We used hand netting and trap nests to sample bees in 27 community gardens ranging from inner city gardens with limited surrounding green space, to suburban gardens located next to national parks. We did not find strong support for an impact of any of our variables on bee species richness, abundance or diversity. We found high abundance of a recently introduced non-native bee: the African carder bee, Afranthidium repetitum (Schulz 1906). The abundance of African carder bees was negatively correlated with the amount of surrounding green space and positively correlated with native bee abundance/species richness. Our results highlight the seemingly rapid increase in African carder bee populations in inner city Sydney, and we call for more research into this bee’s potential environmental impacts. Our results also suggest that hard-to-change environmental factors such as garden size and distance to remnant forests may not have a strong influence on native bee diversity and abundance in highly urbanized area.

Keywords

Community gardens Hymenoptera Urban conservation Pollinators Exotic species 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Michael Batley from the Australian Museum for help identifying bees as well as providing ecological data. We also thank William Thompson, Sheridan Matthews and Alice Si for assistance in the field. The manuscript was greatly improved by comments from two anonymous referees. This project was funded by an Environmental Grant from the City of Sydney. We would like to thank Sophie Golding from the City of Sydney Council for help throughout the project. This work would not have been possible without the cooperation of our community gardeners who graciously allowed us to sample in their gardens.

References

  1. Alves-dos-Santos I (2003) Trap-nesting bees and wasps on the university campus in São Paulo, southeastern Brazil (hymenoptera: Aculeata). J Kansas Entomol Soc 76:328–334Google Scholar
  2. Baumann JM, Walker K, Threlfall C & Williams NS (2016) African Carder bee,'Afranthidium (Immanthidium) repetitum’(Hymenoptera: Megachilidae): A new exotic species for Victoria. Victorian Naturalist, The 133: 21.Google Scholar
  3. Benson D, Howell J (1994) The natural vegetation of the Sydney 1: 100 000 map sheet. Cunninghamia 3:677–787Google Scholar
  4. Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2002) Model selection and multimodel inference: a practical information-theoretic approach, 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2004) Multimodel inference understanding AIC and BIC in model selection. Sociol Methods Res 33:261–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dollin A, Batley M, Robinson M, Faulkner B (2000) Native bees of the Sydney region: a field guide. Australian Native Bee Research Centre Richmond, NSWGoogle Scholar
  7. Gardiner MM, Burkman CE, Prajzner SP (2013) The value of urban vacant land to support arthropod biodiversity and ecosystem services. Environ Entomol 42:1123–1136CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Gathmann A, Greiler H-J, Tscharntke T (1994) Trap-nesting bees and wasps colonizing set-aside fields: succession and body size, management by cutting and sowing. Oecologia 98:8–14CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Grundel R, Jean RP, Frohnapple KJ, Glowacki GA, Scott PE, Pavlovic NB (2010) Floral and nesting resources, habitat structure, and fire influence bee distribution across an open-forest gradient. Ecol Appl 20:1678–1692CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Guitart D, Pickering C, Byrne J (2012) Past results and future directions in urban community gardens research. Urban For Urban Green 11:364–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hennig E, Ghazoul J (2012) Pollinating animals in the urban environment. Urban Ecosystems 15:149–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hoehn P, Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (2010) Relative contribution of agroforestry, rainforest and openland to local and regional bee diversity. Biodivers Conserv 19:2189–2200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hope D et al (2003) Socioeconomics drive urban plant diversity. Proc Natl Acad Sci 100:8788–8792. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1537557100 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Klatt BK, Holzschuh A, Westphal C, Clough Y, Smit I, Pawelzik E, Tscharntke T (2014) Bee pollination improves crop quality, shelf life and commercial value. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281 Vol. 281, No. 1775, p. 20132440Google Scholar
  15. Klein AM, Vaissiere BE, Cane JH, Steffan-Dewenter I, Cunningham SA, Kremen C, Tscharntke T (2007) Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 274:303–313Google Scholar
  16. Larson B, Kevan P, Inouye DW (2001) Flies and flowers: taxonomic diversity of anthophiles and pollinators. The Canadian Entomologist 133:439–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lowenstein D, Matteson K, Minor E (2015) Diversity of wild bees supports pollination services in an urbanized landscape. Oecologia:1–11Google Scholar
  18. Matteson K, Langellotto G (2010) Determinates of inner city butterfly and bee species richness. Urban Ecosystems 13:333–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Morato EF (2001) Efeitos da fragmentação florestal sobre vespas e abelhas solitárias na Amazônia Central. 11. Estratificação vertical Rev. Bras. Zool 18:737–747Google Scholar
  20. Orford KA, Vaughan IP, Memmott J (2015) The forgotten flies: the importance of non-syrphid Diptera as pollinators. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 282 1805 (2015): 20142934.Google Scholar
  21. Schulz WA (1906) Anthidium repetitum Spolia Hymenopterologica. Paderborn : Pape iii 356 pp. 1 pl [263] [nom. nov. for Anthidium integrum Friese, 1905]Google Scholar
  22. Smith RM, Warren PH, Thompson K, Gaston KJ (2006) Urban domestic gardens (VI): environmental correlates of invertebrate species richness. Biodiversity & Conservation 15:2415–2438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Somanathan H, Borges R, Warrant E, Kelber A (2008) Visual ecology of Indian carpenter bees I: light intensities and flight activity. J Comp Physiol A 194:97–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Steffan-Dewenter I (2002) Landscape context affects trap-nesting bees, wasps, and their natural enemies. Ecological Entomology 27:631–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Stout JC, Morales CL (2009) Ecological impacts of invasive alien species on bees. Apidologie 40:388–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Symonds M, Moussalli A (2011) A brief guide to model selection, multimodel inference and model averaging in behavioural ecology using Akaike’s information criterion. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 65:13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Threlfall CG, Walker K, Williams NSG, Hahs AK, Mata L, Stork N, Livesley SJ (2015) The conservation value of urban green space habitats for Australian native bee communities. Biol Conserv 187:240–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tonietto R, Fant J, Ascher J, Ellis K, Larkin D (2011) A comparison of bee communities of Chicago green roofs, parks and prairies. Landscape Urban Plann 103:102–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tscharntke T, Gathmann A, Steffan-Dewenter I (1998) Bioindication using trap-nesting bees and wasps and their natural enemies: community structure and interactions. J Appl Ecol 35:708–719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vitiello, D. and M. Nairn. 2009. Community Gardening in Philadelphia: 2008 Harvest Report. 56 pp. Penn Planning and Urban Studies, University of Pennsylvania. Https://sites.google.com/site/harvestreportsite/philadelphia-report (accessed 30 March 2015)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Makinson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Caragh G. Threlfall
    • 2
  • Tanya Latty
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Experimental Psychology, School of Biological and Chemical SciencesQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.School of Life and Environmental Science, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of SydneyNSWAustralia
  3. 3.School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Australian Technology ParkUniversity of SydneyNSWAustralia

Personalised recommendations