MORALES Carolina Laura
Managed honeybees decrease pollination limitation in self-compatible but not in self-incompatible crops
SÁEZ, AGUSTÍN; AGUILAR, RAMIRO; ASHWORTH, LORENA; GLEISER, GABRIELA; MORALES, CAROLINA L.; TRAVESET, ANNA; AIZEN, MARCELO A.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. SERIES B: BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES.
Año: 2022 vol. 289
Modern agriculture is becoming increasingly pollinator-dependent. However, the global stock of domesticated honeybees is growing at a slower rate than its demand, while wild bees are declining worldwide. This uneven scenario of high pollinator demand and low pollinator availability can translate into increasing pollination limitation, reducing the yield of pollinator-dependent crops. However, overall assessments of crop pollination limitation and the factors determining its magnitude are missing. Based on 52 published studies including 30 crops, we conducted a meta-analysis comparing crop yield in pollen-supplemented versus open-pollinated flowers. We assessed the overall magnitude of pollination limitation and whether this magnitude was influenced by (i) the presence/absence of managed honeybees, (ii) crop compatibility system (i.e. self-compatible/self-incompatible) and (iii) the interaction between these two factors. Overall, pollen supplementation increased yield by approximately 34%, indicating sizable pollination limitation. Deployment of managed honeybees and self-compatibility were associated with lower pollination limitation. Particularly, active honeybee management decreased pollination limitation among self-compatible but apparently not among self-incompatible crops. These findings indicate that current pollination regimes are, in general, inadequate to maximize crop yield, even when including managed honeybees, and stress the need of transforming the pollination management paradigm of agricultural landscapes.