Mapping pollinator abundance in a biodiversity hotspot in Brazil from 1986 to 2015


Abstract: Pollination is a key ecosystem service for human wellbeing, but land use change and intensification of agriculture can impact pollinator communities and the associated pollination services. In Brazil, there have been major changes in land use including conversion of forest for agriculture and cities, but also conversion of grassland into coffee and forest. These fast and dramatic changes have resulted in landscape composed of mosaics with different land uses. Here, we assessed the consequences of these land use changes for pollinators in the Zona da Mata of Minas Gerais, Brazil, from 1986 to 2015. We applied the InVEST pollination model to create maps of potential pollinator abundance index. We used information about the potential availability of nesting sites and floral resources from each land use, in combination with the flight range of two bee species: Apis mellifera and Trigona spinipes. The mean potential pollinator abundance index increased from 0.23 ± 0.27 in 1986 to 0.31 ± 0.27 in 2015, and is explained by reforestation activities in the last 30 years resulting in a small-scale landscape mosaic with scattered forest patches that sustain viable pollinator communities. These findings can inform landscape management aiming to strengthen pollination services.

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