Importance of bee pollination for cotton production in conventional and organic farms in Brazil

Authors

  • Viviane C. Pires Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Fernando A. Silveira Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Edison R. Sujii Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia
  • Karoline R. S. Torezani Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia
  • Wallyson A. Rodrigues Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia
  • Fábio A. Albuquerque Embrapa Algodão
  • Sandra M. M. Rodrigues Embrapa Algodão/ Embrapa Agrossilvopastoril
  • Antonieta N. Salomão Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia
  • Carmen Sílvia Soares Pires Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26786/1920-7603(2014)20

Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate the importance of wild bee and feral honeybee visits for cotton production on conventional and organic farms. Experiments were conducted in Brazil, on a conventional cotton farm in Mato Grosso state in the Amazon biome and on an organic farm in Paraíba state in the Caatinga biome. On the conventional farm, bee assemblage and cotton production were measured near to and far from natural vegetation. Bee richness, fibre fraction, seed number and yield (Kg/ha) were higher by 57.14, 1.95, 17.77 and 18.44% respectively in plots near natural vegetation, but bee abundance did not vary with distance to natural vegetation. On the organic farm, because the cropping area is surrounded by natural vegetation, pollination deficit was evaluated using an exclusion experiment where cotton production of flowers bagged to prevent bee visitation (spontaneous self-pollination) was compared to production of flowers open to bee visitation (open pollination). Open pollinated flowers had higher average boll weight, fibre weight and seed number. Although cotton is not directly dependent on bee pollination, bees increased cotton production on the organic farm by more than 12% for fibre weight and over 17% for seed number. Our data confirm the importance of maintaining communities of pollinators on cotton farms, especially for organic production.

Author Biographies

Viviane C. Pires, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Departamento de Zoologia - Instituto de Ciências Biológicas ICB.

Fernando A. Silveira, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

Departamento de Zoologia - Instituto de Ciências Biológicas ICB.

Edison R. Sujii, Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia

Laboratório de Ecologia e Biossegurança.

Karoline R. S. Torezani, Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia

Laboratório de Ecologia e Biossegurança

Wallyson A. Rodrigues, Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia

Laboratório de Ecologia e Biossegurança

Fábio A. Albuquerque, Embrapa Algodão

Laboratório de Entomologia

Sandra M. M. Rodrigues, Embrapa Algodão/ Embrapa Agrossilvopastoril

Laboratório de Entomologia

Antonieta N. Salomão, Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia

Laboratório de Sementes

Carmen Sílvia Soares Pires, Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia

Laboratório de Ecologia e Biossegurança

Published

2014-04-13

How to Cite

Pires, V. C., Silveira, F. A., Sujii, E. R., Torezani, K. R. S., Rodrigues, W. A., Albuquerque, F. A., Rodrigues, S. M. M., Salomão, A. N., & Pires, C. S. S. (2014). Importance of bee pollination for cotton production in conventional and organic farms in Brazil. Journal of Pollination Ecology, 13, 151–160. https://doi.org/10.26786/1920-7603(2014)20

Issue

Section

Special Issue on Pollination Deficits