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Permalink Varied Agricultural Landscape More Effective for Pollinators than Flowering Strips

Research by Lund University in Sweden has shown that a small-scale agricultural landscape with pastures, meadows, and other unplowed areas provides the best habitat for pollinators and experiences the highest level of pollination. Although planting strips of flowering plants within crops was expected to increase crop pollination, this research found that crop pollination rates increased only in the area immediately adjacent to the flowering strip, and not across the whole field. Meanwhile, in small-scale agricultural landscapes, planting a strip of flowering plants actually reduced pollination of adjacent crops because the flowering strip competed with crop plants for pollinators' attention. "If we want to increase pollination in varied agricultural landscapes, it seems to be a better strategy to restore and maintain pastures and meadows, and to manage field borders in a way that favors the local flora, rather than adding sown strips of flowering plants," concludes study author Lina Herbertsson.

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