Spatio-temporal differences in pollinator species richness, abundance and conservation status in a Mediterranean island
Although the Mediterranean basin is a hotspot of pollinator diversity, little is still known about how such diversity is distributed in the region and about its conservation status. This study contributes to filling this information gap by studying pollinator diversity parameters in one of the main Mediterranean islands, Mallorca, and further evaluating their conservation category according to the IUCN criteria. We focus on three communities, two coastal and one mountain shrubland, which we have studied for several years. For each community, we obtained the following variables: (1) Shannon diversity (H'), (2) Pielou's index (J'), (3) Number of pollinators per plant (Lp), (4) Flower visitation rate (FVR), (5) Specialisation index (d') and (6) Normalised degree of pollinators, i.e. the number of plants visited per pollinator species relative to the total number of plant species in the community (ND). All pollinators were categorised into functional groups to test for differences in such variables among them. Differences across communities, years and functional groups were tested through GLMMs. The three communities showed differences in pollinator species composition, species richness and diversity. Pollinator diversity also varied with time, especially in the coastal community, which suffered a major disturbance during one of the study years. Regardless of the functional group, the pollinator specialisation degree seems context-dependent. Native and endemic species might disappear in the short term if appropriate management measures are not taken to narrow down the threats to pollinator populations. Further research is urgently needed to assess most insect pollinators' conservation status in the Mediterranean before such rich diversity is lost forever.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Pau Enric Serra Marin, Rafel Beltran, Anna Traveset
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