Dominance of the semi-wild honeybee as coffee pollinator across a gradient of shade-tree structure in Ethiopia
2014 (English)In: Journal of Tropical Ecology, ISSN 0266-4674, E-ISSN 1469-7831, Vol. 30, 401-408 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Mass-flowering plant species are often pollinated by social bees that are able to use the abundant resource by recruiting workers from their colonies. In this study we surveyed pollinators on the mass-flowering perennial crop coffee (Coffea arabica) in its native range in Ethiopia. Previous studies in areas where coffee is introduced often find the social honeybee, Apis mellifera, to be the dominant pollinator. In those areas, the bee-species composition visiting coffee varies with a higher bee diversity closer to forest or in less modified habitats. We surveyed pollinators of coffee under different shade-tree structures, by collecting hoverflies and bees landing on coffee flowers in 19 sites in south-west Ethiopia. We found the native honeybee (A. mellifera) to be the dominant visitor of coffee flowers in all sites. Honeybee abundance was not affected by the local shade-tree structure, but was positively affected by the amount of coffee flower resources. Other pollinators were positively affected by complex shade-tree structures. To conclude, the honeybee is clearly the dominant pollinator of coffee in Ethiopia along the whole shade-tree structure gradient. Its high abundance could be a consequence of the provision of traditional bee hives in the landscape, which are colonized by wild swarming honeybees.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 30, 401-408 p.
agroforestry, Apis mellifera subsp simensis, Coffea arabica, landscape ecology, moist afromontane forest, pollination, species composition
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107421DOI: 10.1017/S0266467414000327ISI: 000340562800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107421DiVA: diva2:748611