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Pollination in agroecosistemas

The Dr Mariano Devoto is educational and investigator of the Faculty of Agronomy of the GRAPE and CONICET. He directs one of the five projects that Syngenta has supported in its initiative Multifunctional Landscapes in Argentina through an agreement with the CONICET. The objective of the project is to understand how the different scales are integrated (lot, community, landscape) from the phenomenon of the pollination of cultures in agroecosistemas to contribute to the viable handling and conservation of this fundamental ecosist©mico service.

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Dr Mariano Devoto

This project looks for to develop general a conceptual frame with respect to this thematic one, in particular we studied the pollination of the soybean for being a culture of great importance and whose dependency of the pollenizers is in discussion. We use an approach that, although it concentrates in the culture, considers the vegetation of the edges of the culture and the set of present pollenizers. We find that the soybean comprises of a complex network of interactions in which participate to native and exotic insect and plants species of (Figure of down). This system bucket of very complex way since changes in anyone of the species (for example the disappearance of some of the connected species more) generate effects that propagate quickly by all the system, exactly because everything is connected. The involvements for the handling are fascinating since it is as throwing of a thread of a spiderweb: all the set moves.

In this figure the network of interactions is seen (blue lines) enters plants (rectangles inferiors) and its floral visitors (rectangles superiors) agroecosistema Pampan typical (lots of soybean + vegetation of the edge). The width of the rectangles represents the relative abundance of each species. The width of the lines represents the number of total interactions registered in the field. The species of plant emphasized in red is the soybean. The figure includes the species and interactions registered in 30 lots of soybean in season 2015-2016. With the tools of appropriate analyses an enormous amount of information can be extracted on the structure and the operation of the community of organisms that the network represents.

diagram

Another interesting result is that the width of the culture edges is the main factor that explains the differences in composition of plants and pollenizers between sites. A particularly excellent result from the point of view of the conservation of the interactions plant-pollenizer in these atmospheres is that it seems to exist a complementariness between the edges of greater width (than they lodge a significantly greater biodiversity of species of plants and pollenizers) and those of smaller width (than they offer an abundance of floral resources showy high in spite of his little relative area).

devotee 2That is to say, although the wide edges are better from the point of view of the wealth of species that lodge, the narrow edges are what they provide a greater amount with food (floral resources) for the most common and abundant species (that they are those that contribute more to the pollination of the set of the system). This difference in the roll of each type of edge seems to be due to that the wide edges are more stable and give greater opportunity to than rare species settle down and subsist. The narrow edges, however, undergo cash disturbances (drift of weed killers, passage of machinery, etc.) what it maintains them in a state €œyoung€ (sequential stage early) in which dominate many dicotiled³neas that produce abundant flowers.

All the images: Group of Reproductive Biology of Plants Superiors, Faculty of Agronomy of the GRAPE.

More information

The edges of culture as biodiversity refuge