Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Landscape and Local Drivers Affecting the Flower-Visitors of Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare, Apiaceae) and Implications for Its Yield

Version 1 : Received: 9 April 2021 / Approved: 12 April 2021 / Online: 12 April 2021 (12:43:39 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Schurr, L.; Geslin, B.; Affre, L.; Gachet, S.; Delobeau, M.; Brugger, M.; Bourdon, S.; Masotti, V. Landscape and Local Drivers Affecting Flying Insects along Fennel Crops (Foeniculum vulgare, Apiaceae) and Implications for Its Yield. Insects 2021, 12, 404. Schurr, L.; Geslin, B.; Affre, L.; Gachet, S.; Delobeau, M.; Brugger, M.; Bourdon, S.; Masotti, V. Landscape and Local Drivers Affecting Flying Insects along Fennel Crops (Foeniculum vulgare, Apiaceae) and Implications for Its Yield. Insects 2021, 12, 404.

Journal reference: Insects 2021, 12, 404
DOI: 10.3390/insects12050404

Abstract

Agricultural landscapes are more and more characterized by intensification and habitat losses. Landscape composition and configuration are known to mediate insect abundance and richness. In the context of global insect decline, and despite 75% of crops being under insect’s dependence, there is still a gap of knowledge about the link between pollinators and aromatic crops. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is an aromatic plant cultivated in South of France, for its essential oil which is of great economic interest. Using pan-traps, we investigated the influence of the surrounding habitats at landscape scale (semi-natural habitat proportion and vicinity, landscape configuration) and local scale agricultural practices (insecticides and patch size) on fennel-flower-visitor abundance and richness and their subsequent impact on fennel essential oil yield. We found that fennel may to be a generalist plant species. We did not find any effect of intense local management practices on insect abundance and richness. Landscape configuration and the proximity to semi-natural habitat were the main drivers of flying insect’s family richness. This richness positively influenced fennel essential oil yield. Maintaining a complex configuration of patches at the landscape scale are important to sustain insect diversity and crop yield.

Subject Areas

Fennel; Semi-natural habitat; Interspersion and juxtaposition index (IJI); Insecticides – Insect abundance and richness – Essential oil yield

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