Investigating the benefits of natural habitats and farmland heterogeneity for the diversity and abundance of insect pollinators in southern Ontario

To address the increasingly important problem of global insect pollinator declines, this project will investigate the relationship between three different natural habitat types (hedgerow, forest patch and restored prairie grass) and their impacts on wild pollinator biodiversity in Canada. This will be studied through the use of Malaise traps place on agricultural land adjacent to these key habitats to monitor for changes in abundance and diversity of native pollinators. While the importance of non-native, managed honeybees as crop pollinators has been well studied, there is still a critical need to understand what habitats are needed to support wild bee and fly pollinators, taking into account their nesting and foraging requirements. The CWF will benefit from this work by receiving a biodiversity analysis of the farmland adjacent habitat, which will be used to inform public education, knowledge transfer to agricultural producers, and influence government policy that could improve pollination services.

Intern: 
Samantha Reynolds
Faculty Supervisor: 
Nigel Raine;Andrew Young
Province: 
Ontario
Partner University: