Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 570558
Title Bee abundance and soil nitrogen availability interactively modulate apple quality and quantity in intensive agricultural landscapes of China
Author(s) Wu, Panlong; Tscharntke, Teja; Westphal, Catrin; Wang, Meina; Olhnuud, Aruhan; Xu, Huanli; Yu, Zhenrong; Werf, Wopke van der; Liu, Yunhui
Source Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 305 (2021). - ISSN 0167-8809
Department(s) PE&RC
Crop and Weed Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2021
Keyword(s) Ecological intensification - Landscape composition - Pollinator - Robinia forests
Abstract Bees provide important pollination services for crops, but pollination limitation is a common problem in agricultural landscapes worldwide. To promote ecological intensification in fruit production, more knowledge is needed concerning the interacting effects of insect pollination services and soil fertility on crop quality and quantity. We investigated the effects of three pollination treatments (open, self and hand pollination) on apple quantity and quality parameters. We also analyzed the effects of bee abundance (wild bees and managed honeybees (Apis mellifera)) and soil nitrogen on fruit quantity and quality, and the responses of bee abundance and species richness to landscape metrics. Apple fruit set and yield of open pollinated flowers increased by 57 % and 25 t/ha (compared to bagged controls), respectively. Hand pollination further enhanced yields by 7 t/ha (compared to open pollination; i.e. to 39 t/ha), indicating pollination limitation in the orchards. Seed number was highest in open pollinated fruits, and increased with bee abundance if soil nitrogen was low, but decreased with bee abundance at high nitrogen levels, possibly due to higher flower density resulting in pollinator dilution effects. Higher seed numbers reduced the proportion of deformed apples and thus increased fruit quality. The percent of surrounding semi-natural habitats positively affected species richness of wild bees in apple orchards. We conclude that yield and quality of apples may benefit from ecological intensification comprising the augmentation of wild bees by semi-natural habitat and lowering of fertilizer inputs.
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