Wednesday, 17 November 2004 - 11:20 AM

Bee pollination of genetically-modified crops: effects on bee diversity, abundance and crop yield

Lora Morandin, and Mark Winston, Simon Fraser University, Department of Biological Sciences, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Agricultural systems can have substantial interaction with wild bee populations, including impact of agriculture on bee biodiversity and corresponding effects of diminished bee abundance on crop production. The onset of genetically modified crops has stimulated considerable research in this area, revealing large gaps in our knowledge concerning how conventional and genetically modified (GM) agroecosystems relate with the environment around them. We used organic, conventional, and herbicide-resistant GM canola agroecosystems in recently established and agriculturally intense landscapes to better understand how cropping systems might have impact on bee communities. We also examined landscape scale variation in agriculturural settings for its effects on bee biodiversity. Finally, we investigated the role of bee communities for seed production and crop yield, revealing economic reasons to conserve wild bees in the midst of agricultural innovation.

Species 1: Hymenoptera (bees)
Keywords: wild bees, pollination

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