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Biodiversity of pollinators plummets with urbanization

Urbanization modifies the composition of all biological communities, including insect pollinator communities, but what is filtered out ? To answer this question, Zaninotto et al. compared the pollinators and their morphological and behavioral characteristics between Paris green spaces and nearby rural grasslands including sites in and near the CEREEP-Ecotron. They monitored the pollinators foraging on identical plant plots in these two environments for two years, and from spring to fall. Pollinators in the city were relatively less diverse than their rural counterparts. They comprised fewer bees belonging to solitary or ground-nesting species, but the bees had a larger body size overall. These data add to the body of evidence of a filtering of pollinator communities by the urban environment, partly because the abundance and distribution of nesting and feeding resources are modified. Since the diversity of pollinators is important for plant pollination, such effects must be considered in order to preserve the insect pollinator community and maintain the pollination function despite the increasing urbanization of our landscapes.

Published in Insects