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Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 585–598 | Cite as

Floral morphology as the main driver of flower-feeding insect occurrences in the Paris region

  • James Desaegher
  • Sophie Nadot
  • Colin Fontaine
  • Bruno Colas
Article

Abstract

Through the rapid expansion worldwide of impervious areas and habitat fragmentation, urbanization has strong consequences that must be understood to efficiently manage biodiversity. We studied the effects of urbanization on flower-feeding insects by using data from a citizen science program in the Parisian region. We analysed the occurrence of insects from 46 different families on flowers of different morphologies, using landscape indices in buffer areas from a 100-m to a 4000-m radius around 1194 sampled sites. Our aims were to determine (i) how the proportion of impervious area around sampled sites affected the occurrence of flower-feeding insect families and at which landscape scales impervious area calculations best predicted these occurrences; (ii) the effect of corolla shape variables on insect family occurrences. Twenty-one families were negatively impacted by increasing proportion of impervious areas (urbanophobic) and 3 were positively impacted (urbanophilic). Urbanophobic families were most affected by the proportion of impervious areas when it was estimated within buffers of 200-m to 1400-m radii, depending on the family. Notable losses of urbanophobic families were detected at less than 50% of impervious areas, which highlights the threat to the diversity of flower-feeding insects posed by urban sprawl. Corolla shape variables were the variables most often significantly implicated in the occurrence of insect families. Urbanophobic families were negatively affected by the tubular shape of flowers, and tubular corollas were found more often in urbanized areas. These results suggest that flora management might be a key component for the conservation of insect diversity in cities.

Keywords

Pollination Floral traits Partial least squares regression Urban planning Impervious areas Citizen science 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank all the SPIPOLL participants and also the members of the Office Pour les Insectes et leur Environnement and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle for the insect and plant identification validations. Special thanks to the Institut d’Aménagement et d’Urbanisme de la région Île-de-France for providing us the GIS maps. We are very grateful to one anonymous reviewer and the Associate Editor who substantially contributed to improve the manuscript.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecologie Systématique Evolution, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS, AgroParisTechUniversité Paris-SaclayOrsayFrance
  2. 2.Centre d’Ecologie et des Sciences de la Conservation, UMR7204, (CNRS, MNHN, UPMC)Museum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance

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