Skip to main content
Log in

Pollinator abundance, not the richness, benefits from urban green spaces in intensive agricultural land

  • Published:
Urban Ecosystems Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

In the debate on the impact of urbanisation on biodiversity, two characteristics of urbanisation have been identified that mainly determine the extent of the impact, namely the level of urbanisation and the landscape context. More recently, it has been theorised that urban sprawl in an intensive agricultural landscape has a positive influence on pollinators by increasing habitat and resource availability. Using the eastern Po Plain (north-eastern Italy) as a model system, we investigated the relationship between attributes of landscape composition and configuration, pollinator richness and visits in 39 randomly selected permanent plots. Contrary to expectations, we found no relationship between urban sprawl and pollinator species richness. Conversely, descriptors of urban sprawl such as landscape heterogeneity and the proportion of urban green spaces had a positive influence on the number of pollinator visits. This suggests that urban sprawl, when occurring in an intensive agricultural land, has a positive effect on the abundance of local pollinator populations, while it may not promote pollinator richness due to limited immigration opportunities in the matrix of intensive agricultural land. Our results emphasise the importance of urban green spaces in supporting pollinator communities, but also the need to improve the heterogeneity and permeability of the landscape matrix for biodiversity to enhance pollinator conservation in human-modified landscapes.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the authors upon reasonable request.

References

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by EU in the framework of the European LIFE project LIFE19 IT/NAT/000848 PollinAction (https://lifepollinaction.eu/).

Funding

L.L, E.F., D.S. and G.B. were supported by the European LIFE project LIFE19 IT/NAT/000848 PollinAction (https://lifepollinaction.eu/). S.F. was supported by PON “Ricerca e Innovazione” 2014–2020.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

L.L.: Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Investigation, Data curation, Writing - Original Draft, Writing - Review & Editing, Visualization. E.F.: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Investigation, Writing - Review & Editing, Supervision. D.S.: Methodology, Investigation, Writing - Review & Editing. S.F.: Investigation, Writing - Review & Editing. G.B.: Conceptualization, Methodology, Writing - Review & Editing, Supervision, Project administration, Funding acquisition.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Edy Fantinato.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary Material 1

Supplementary Material 2

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lorenzato, L., Fantinato, E., Sommaggio, D. et al. Pollinator abundance, not the richness, benefits from urban green spaces in intensive agricultural land. Urban Ecosyst (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-024-01565-7

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-024-01565-7

Keywords

Navigation