Management of overwintering cover crops influences floral resources and visitation by native bees

Katherine E. Ellis, Mary Ellen Barbercheck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The incorporation of cover crops into annual crop rotations is one practice that is used in the Mid-Atlantic United States to manage soil fertility, suppress weeds, and control erosion. Additionally, flowering cover crops have the potential to support beneficial insect communities, such as native bees. Because of the current declines in managed honey bee colonies, the conservation of native bee communities is critical to maintaining "free" pollination services. However, native bees are negatively affected by agricultural intensification and are also in decline across North America.We conducted two experiments to assess the potential of flowering cover crops to act as a conservation resource for native bees.We evaluated the effects of cover crop diversity and fall planting date on floral resource availability and visitation by native bees for overwintering flowering cover crop species commonly used in the Mid-Atlantic region. Cover crop species, crop rotation schedule, and plant diversity significantly influenced floral resource availability. Different cover crop species not only had different blooming phenologies and winter survival responses to planting date, but attracted unique bee communities. Flower density was the primary factor influencing frequency of bee visitation across cover crop diversity and fall planting date treatments. The results from these experiments will be useful for informing recommendations on the applied use of flowering cover crops for pollinator conservation purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)999-1010
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Fingerprint

cover crop
overwintering
cover crops
bee
Apoidea
resource
flowering
planting date
crop rotation
resource availability
Mid-Atlantic region
beneficial insects
insect communities
agricultural intensification
honey bee colonies
erosion control
honey
pollinating insects
natural resources conservation
pollinator

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

Cite this

@article{427712c8258b4203904affa07c23bbb1,
title = "Management of overwintering cover crops influences floral resources and visitation by native bees",
abstract = "The incorporation of cover crops into annual crop rotations is one practice that is used in the Mid-Atlantic United States to manage soil fertility, suppress weeds, and control erosion. Additionally, flowering cover crops have the potential to support beneficial insect communities, such as native bees. Because of the current declines in managed honey bee colonies, the conservation of native bee communities is critical to maintaining {"}free{"} pollination services. However, native bees are negatively affected by agricultural intensification and are also in decline across North America.We conducted two experiments to assess the potential of flowering cover crops to act as a conservation resource for native bees.We evaluated the effects of cover crop diversity and fall planting date on floral resource availability and visitation by native bees for overwintering flowering cover crop species commonly used in the Mid-Atlantic region. Cover crop species, crop rotation schedule, and plant diversity significantly influenced floral resource availability. Different cover crop species not only had different blooming phenologies and winter survival responses to planting date, but attracted unique bee communities. Flower density was the primary factor influencing frequency of bee visitation across cover crop diversity and fall planting date treatments. The results from these experiments will be useful for informing recommendations on the applied use of flowering cover crops for pollinator conservation purposes.",
author = "Ellis, {Katherine E.} and Barbercheck, {Mary Ellen}",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/ee/nvv086",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "44",
pages = "999--1010",
journal = "Environmental Entomology",
issn = "0046-225X",
publisher = "Entomological Society of America",
number = "4",

}

Management of overwintering cover crops influences floral resources and visitation by native bees. / Ellis, Katherine E.; Barbercheck, Mary Ellen.

In: Environmental Entomology, Vol. 44, No. 4, 01.08.2015, p. 999-1010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Management of overwintering cover crops influences floral resources and visitation by native bees

AU - Ellis, Katherine E.

AU - Barbercheck, Mary Ellen

PY - 2015/8/1

Y1 - 2015/8/1

N2 - The incorporation of cover crops into annual crop rotations is one practice that is used in the Mid-Atlantic United States to manage soil fertility, suppress weeds, and control erosion. Additionally, flowering cover crops have the potential to support beneficial insect communities, such as native bees. Because of the current declines in managed honey bee colonies, the conservation of native bee communities is critical to maintaining "free" pollination services. However, native bees are negatively affected by agricultural intensification and are also in decline across North America.We conducted two experiments to assess the potential of flowering cover crops to act as a conservation resource for native bees.We evaluated the effects of cover crop diversity and fall planting date on floral resource availability and visitation by native bees for overwintering flowering cover crop species commonly used in the Mid-Atlantic region. Cover crop species, crop rotation schedule, and plant diversity significantly influenced floral resource availability. Different cover crop species not only had different blooming phenologies and winter survival responses to planting date, but attracted unique bee communities. Flower density was the primary factor influencing frequency of bee visitation across cover crop diversity and fall planting date treatments. The results from these experiments will be useful for informing recommendations on the applied use of flowering cover crops for pollinator conservation purposes.

AB - The incorporation of cover crops into annual crop rotations is one practice that is used in the Mid-Atlantic United States to manage soil fertility, suppress weeds, and control erosion. Additionally, flowering cover crops have the potential to support beneficial insect communities, such as native bees. Because of the current declines in managed honey bee colonies, the conservation of native bee communities is critical to maintaining "free" pollination services. However, native bees are negatively affected by agricultural intensification and are also in decline across North America.We conducted two experiments to assess the potential of flowering cover crops to act as a conservation resource for native bees.We evaluated the effects of cover crop diversity and fall planting date on floral resource availability and visitation by native bees for overwintering flowering cover crop species commonly used in the Mid-Atlantic region. Cover crop species, crop rotation schedule, and plant diversity significantly influenced floral resource availability. Different cover crop species not only had different blooming phenologies and winter survival responses to planting date, but attracted unique bee communities. Flower density was the primary factor influencing frequency of bee visitation across cover crop diversity and fall planting date treatments. The results from these experiments will be useful for informing recommendations on the applied use of flowering cover crops for pollinator conservation purposes.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84944323064&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84944323064&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/ee/nvv086

DO - 10.1093/ee/nvv086

M3 - Article

VL - 44

SP - 999

EP - 1010

JO - Environmental Entomology

JF - Environmental Entomology

SN - 0046-225X

IS - 4

ER -