Pollinating Insects Find Refuge in Cities

Despite wildlife declines caused by factors such as Britain's urban sprawl, researchers suspect that cities are better habitats for pollinating insects because they have a greater number and diversity of flowers, reports Rebecca Morelle for BBC.
August 2, 2011, 2pm PDT | Kristopher Fortin
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A countrywide survey being conducted by Professor Jane Memmott and others from University of Bristol is cataloging the habitats of insect pollinators.

The count is being conducted in 12 cities, farmland habitats and nature reserves in Britain.

"'Cities can be good because they contain a huge diversity of sites: you've got gardens, you've got meadows, you've got nature reserves, says Professor Memmott."

"'The flowering season is longer, because gardeners love things that flower really early and flower really late, so there's forage over a longer period of time. And my gut feeling is that this is probably more of a reliable source of food, (says Professor Memmott)'"

"In contrast, farmland habitats can offer a feast and famine situation for insects: when a crop such as oil seed rape is in flower, pollinators will flock, but once the bloom is over, there is little there for them."

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Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 in BBC
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