Ecosystem Services in Hedgerow Restorations: Pollination Function and Nesting Habitat

Project Overview

GW12-024
Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2012: $17,882.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Grant Recipient: University of California, Berkeley
Region: Western
State: California
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Claire Kremen
University of California, Berkeley

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: sunflower
  • Animals: bees

Practices

  • Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, hedgerows, wildlife
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Pollination services have been substantially degraded due to agricultural intensification, including habitat loss, landscape simplification and pesticide use. As a result, there are increasing calls for on-farm management actions that can enhance agroecological resilience by restoring ecosystem services that support and regulate crop production. Re-diversification of agricultural areas at both field and landscape scales has been proposed as a means of bolstering key ecosystem services. This project will study the provision of pollination services and subsequent economic benefits associated with hedgerow restoration, a common habitat enhancement technique. Farmers are concerned that hedgerows attract bees away from their crops, therefore I will examine whether native bees pollinating crops also utilized hedgerow resources using a novel protein mark-recapture technique. I will also link the abundance and diversity of native bees directly to delivery of services by calculating rates of seed set. I will use seed set data to create an economic model of ecosystem service provisioning. In addition, nesting habitat is critical to conserving native bee populations, and thus sustaining pollination services. Therefore, I will determine whether hedgerows provide adequate nesting habitat. These studies will be conducted in hybrid sunflower, a model system because it is pollinator-dependent yet understudied, and grown throughout temperate regions as a seed and oil crop. This research addresses ongoing questions concerning the value of hedgerow restorations to both crop yield and native bee survival. Results will provide a comprehensive economic valuation of pollination services provided by hedgerows that can be used in farmer decision-making.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Pollination Services

    1. Assess the spatial distribution of pollinators in agricultural fields

    2. Assess pollination function in fields with and without hedgerows

    Economic Evaluation

    3. Generate an economic model that evaluates the marginal benefits of hedgerow restoration along field edges

    Nesting

    4. Assess the nesting bee community in hedgerows and fallow field edges

    5. Correlate habitat features in hedgerows and fallow field edges to nest occurrence

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.