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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Pollination: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards Mediterranean Farmland

Key messages

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Pollination (0 studies)

Crop visitation (0 studies)

Pollinator numbers (0 studies)

Implementation options (1 study): One replicated site comparison from Greece found more bee species and more deposited pollen grains in managed olive orchards, compared to abandoned olive orchards, which differed in ground cover.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated site comparison in 2001 in olive orchards on the island of Lesvos, Greece, found more bee species and more deposited pollen grains in managed orchards (with tilled soils and ground cover dominated by annual plants), compared to unmanaged orchards (without tilled soils, and with ground cover dominated by perennial plants). Implementation options: More pollen grains were found on Cistus salvifolius in managed orchards, compared to abandoned orchards (38 vs 27 grains/stigma), but similar numbers of pollen grains were found on Asphodelus ramosus (33 vs 30 grains/stigma). More bee species were found in managed orchards, compared to abandoned orchards (19 vs 13 species/site), but similar numbers of individuals were found (231 vs 122 individuals/site). Methods: Three managed orchards were compared to three abandoned orchards (1 ha each). Bees were surveyed three times/site in March–May (three transects/site, 20 minutes/transect). Pollen grains were counted on 100 plants from each of two wildflower species (Asphodelus ramosus, a tall, perennial herb, and Cistus salvifolius, an evergreen shrub, both with large white flowers), which were collected after each bee survey.


Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Shackelford, G. E., Kelsey, R., Robertson, R. J., Williams, D. R. & Dicks, L. V. (2017) Sustainable Agriculture in California and Mediterranean Climates: Evidence for the effects of selected interventions. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.