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Urbanization drives an early spring for plants but not for pollinators

Abstract : Urbanization is one of the major threats to wild plants and pollinators, and its global increase demands a better understanding of the mechanism driving its negative impact. Urban warming and altered local environmental conditions have the potential to affect the timing of flowering and of pollinator activity. While previous evidence has shown that plant phenology tends to advance in urban areas, little is known about its effects on pollinator phenology. In this study we simultaneously assessed the response of the timing of flowering of native plants and of the flight period of wild pollinators to increased urbanization. We collected data from 12 sites along an urbanization gradient in northern France, a region under strong anthropogenic pressure. Overall, we recorded more than 70 plant species, and we sampled more than 4300 wild bees and hoverflies belonging to 154 species. Plant flowering showed a strong response to urbanization at the community level with a striking advancement of the flowering peak in sites at high urbanization. On the contrary, pollinator communities did not show any clear shift of their flight phenology along the gradient, neither regarding abundance nor diversity. Our results indicate that phenologies of plant and pollinator communities can respond differently along the same urbanization gradient. These asymmetric responses can drive modifications in the structure of plant–pollinator networks, and potentially negatively affect the fitness of both mutualistic partners.
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Submitted on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 11:22:40 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 25, 2021 - 8:22:26 AM
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Alessandro Fisogni, Nina Hautekèete, Yves Piquot, Marion Brun, Cédric Vanappelghem, et al.. Urbanization drives an early spring for plants but not for pollinators. Oikos, Nordic Ecological Society, 2020, 129 (11), pp.1681-1691. ⟨10.1111/oik.07274⟩. ⟨hal-02942280⟩



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