Insect numbers and diversity are in rapid decline, also within protected areas, endangering the ecosystem functions that insects provide and conflicting with societal commitment to protect biodiversity. Functional connectivity (the degree to which landscapes facilitate the movement of organisms, and the resulting fitness effect on populations) is crucial for population persistence, enabling three major evolutionary processes; 1) re-colonization following stochastic extinctions; 2) maintained genetic variation enabling populations to escape inbreeding; 3) supporting genetic variation for adaption to new conditions. However, for the majority of insect pollinator species, the scale at which populations exchange genetic material is not known. The aim of this project is to identify which groups of pollinators experience isolation due to habitat fragmentation in different landscape types in Sweden. Specifically, we will evaluate if green infrastructure supports functional connectivity in an insect pollinator species to inform conservation policy. This will allow us to tackle BECC’s Grand Challenge to develop effective and biologically meaningful conservation strategies. The outcome of this study will provide a methodological approach and empirical insights into the power of green infrastructure elements to remedy habitat loss and fragmentation driven declines of pollinator populations.
|Effective start/end date
|2023/11/15 → 2024/11/15
- Lund University (lead)
- The Royal Physiographic Society in Lund