A global assessment of the species composition and effectiveness of watermelon pollinators and the management strategies to inform effective pollination service delivery

Erandi C.W.Subasinghe Arachchige, Lisa J. Evans, Joshua W. Campbell, Keith S. Delaplane, Eleanor Spicer Rice, Brian T. Cutting, Liam K. Kendall, Ulrika Samnegård, Romina Rader

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragÖversiktsartikelPeer review

Sammanfattning

For most food crops the identity and efficiency of pollinators across key growing regions remains a significant knowledge gap that needs to be addressed before we can develop crop-specific approaches for pollination service delivery. Here, we conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis on watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb. Matsum. & Nakai)), a globally important fruit crop, to identify the floral visitors and their efficiency across different growing regions. We found that 265 insect species visit watermelon flowers (including 5 orders, 18 families and 75 genera) across 17 countries and 6 continents. Bees and flies were the most abundant flower visitors overall, but show distinct regional differences. Honey bees were the majority visitor in 53% of growing regions (range: 0 – 94%), whilst wild bee species were more abundant in 42% of regions (range: 3.4 – 100%). Honey bees and other bees were equally effective at depositing pollen on stigmas, but varied in effectiveness for fruit set and seed set. Pollination data from global studies appear to be limited for the largest-scale watermelon producers, namely: China, Turkey, and India, with the majority (56%) of data available from North America. This synthesis identified four key themes for improving pollination in watermelon: increasing honey bee densities on crops where local polices and environmental conditions are suitable; introducing other managed pollinators; identifying key wild pollinator taxa to encourage within crops; and improving local and landscape management practices to support pollinators.

Originalspråkengelska
Sidor (från-till)50-62
TidskriftBasic and Applied Ecology
Volym66
DOI
StatusPublished - 2023 feb.

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Ekologi
  • Jordbruksvetenskap

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