What are the impacts of pesticide and fertiliser use in farmland on the effectiveness of adjacent pollinator conservation measures such as flower strips and hedgerows?  back to the theme

Member: George Cojocaru

Date: 21.05.2019

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     Please add here any practical experiences you may know that could inform the call. 

Last edited: 24.05.2019 16:50 (GMT) - by George Cojocaru

Date: 17.06.2019 13:36 (GMT)

In my phd I investigate flower strips and hedgerows adjacent to IP-apple orchards, thus a system with high use of pesticide. In my experience, bees and hover flies use these structures in high numbers when they are in flower. The key issues are the availability, quantity and quality of floral resources. My experimental sites are all situated in IP-orchards. So, unfortunately I cannot compare my results directly to organic orchards. However, the intensity of pesticide use is quite divers in the different orchards. I tested whether the application of B1-pesticides (which were used only in around half of the orchards, B1 = classified as harmful for bees), had an effect on the bee abundance, but found no significant effect. So, overall I assume that there probably is an effect of pesticide application on pollinators in conservation measures, but it is not super high. I think that these structures still result in a net benefit in pollinator populations, because if no such structures were available there would be hardly any pollinators around.

Last edited: 17.06.2019 13:37 (GMT) - by Vivien von Königslöw

Date: 17.06.2019 13:46 (GMT)

I think major open questions are:
- Is there a minimum distance that flower strips and hedges should have to the field that results in damages through drift?
- Which effect do flower strips and hedges on the population dynamics of pollinators? So far, most studies only investigate the presence of pollinators in the structures and the surrounding, but this tells us mostly something about the attractiveness of these structures for pollinators, but not whether they really result in a population growth. Pesticides or other agricultural practices could still cause negative effects that overall lead to neutral or even negative effects. In my opinion, new methods or at least longer observation time spans would be necessary.

Last edited: 17.06.2019 13:47 (GMT) - by Vivien von Königslöw

Date: 18.06.2019 07:43 (GMT)

You are informed that in Piraeus city we don't use chemical pesticide for plant protection.
The use of chemical pesticide in the urban environment is prohibited in accordance with existing legislation.
Conserning the use of fertilizers, we prefer the organic ones.

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