Cluster B: Ecology, economy, and service exchanges

I-B01.1: Mapping of bee species distribution in agriculture systems under transition - Delineating social-ecological systems and their dependence on pollination service along the rural-urbaN gradient in Bangalore

Project summary

Green infrastructure provides critical ecosystem services in growing cities. In addition to important functions of green spaces with respect to general well-being (such as leisure activities, absorption of air pollutants), green spaces are also important for urban agriculture for food production. This is directly evident for production areas, including home gardens and community gardens. However, in addition, green spaces are important sources for pollinators, which are essential for the productivity of the majority of food plants.

Changes in extent and habitat quality of green spaces may drastically affect the pollination service and the associated livelihoods. We will identify current practices which can sustain pollinators and the dependence of people on pollination service in a socio-economic context. Hitherto, very few pollination studies have emerged from urban landscapes, particularly in the tropics. Bangalore offers an ideal setting for studying ecosystem services of urban ecosystems particularly pollination service.

With global urbanization there is encroachment of cities into peri-urban areas as well encroachment into green spaces within the city. Thus negative effects of urbanization on pollinators via a reduction in green areas are expected. This is of immediate concern because pollination services have been identified as supporting and provisioning service critical to maintenance of terrestrial diversity and productivity.

With 90% of food crops being dependent on pollinators, there is need to understand the role of urban green spaces in supporting pollination services in the rural-urban landscape. Of special relevance is pollination by bees because bees play a disproportionate role in pollination of tropical plants. Here, we propose to quantify the effects of landscape features, local habitat quality and management practices on species richness, composition and abundance of bee species in the city of Bangalore. Acknowledging differences among urban neighbourhoods, we will also study the variation of practices/habitat quality with social-ecological context and their effects on the pollinations services along the rural-urban gradient.