Enhancing pollination ecosystem service in urban green areas: An opportunity for the conservation of pollinators
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Green infrastructureOrnamental vegetationPollination syndrome
The rapid growing urbanization is one of the main threats to urban biodiversity and the ecosystem services (ES) that they provide. Pollination is one of the most affected ES in urban areas mainly due to the decline in urban green areas (UGAs) and other factors derived from urbanization itself. Considering this and the already existing global pollinator crisis, the aim of this work is the evaluation of urban green infrastructure as an opportunity for pollinator conservation. For that purpose, the ornamental vegetation of a medium-sized Mediterranean city (Granada, south-eastern Spain) was determined. The floral origin, phenology and floral traits of the conforming species and the pollinator species that they attract were analysed. Additionally, NMDS analysis were performed in order to determine if the “Pollination Syndromes” are a useful tool to actually predict the pollinator group attracted to a certain plant species. It was found that UGAs have huge potential for pollinator conservation as the major part of its ornamental species have an entomophilic pollination strategy. However, there is an imbalance in the availability of flower resources throughout the year. Hence, the addition of species flowering out of the main flowering season would be advisable in order to get a continuous supply of floral resources for pollinators. A current disproportion in the potentially attracted pollinator groups was also found out, being bees the predominantly attracted ones. However, results showed that the “Pollination Syndromes” are a tool with limitations at the moment and needs to be used with considerations. Thus, the specific plant-pollinator relationship should be determined through field work in each case-study. Further studies considering key factors such as urban connectivity and fragmentation would be desirable to ensure a comprehensive management for urban pollinators.