Hedgerows, pollination and pest control

Hedgerow 2In California, most row crop and orchard agriculture is conducted on large monoculture plots. We are working with growers to diversify the field edges of large monocultures by installing species-rich native plantings of perennials shrubs, bunch grasses and annual and perennial forbs. These diverse plantings provide habitat and seasonal floral resources for beneficial insects, including pollinators, predators and parasitoids of crop pests.  Our Hedgerow 4research to date has shown that hedgerow plantings increase the richness and abundance of native bees and syrphid flies, and that they export rather than concentrate individuals out into crop fields, providing some pest control and pollination benefits Hedgerow 3to adjacent crops. We are currently investigating how these hedgerows affect the long-term persistence of pollinator populations, by using occupancy models to assess rates of persistence and colonization, and by studying bee nesting using emergence traps and trap nests. We are also examining how plant-pollinator communities assemble using interaction networks. We are working with other collaborators studying other ecosystem services provided by hedgerows to develop comprehensive outreach materials for growers.


at the University of California Berkeley