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Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination / Andrew M. Lucas

Swansea University Author: Andrew M. Lucas

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DOI (Published version): 10.23889/SUthesis.40892

Abstract

Pollination is an ecosystem service critical to both crop production and the functioning of many ecosystems. Hoverflies (Syrphidae) are a key group of non-hymenopteran pollinators. Using a combination of field and molecular techniques, this thesis explored hoverfly communities in grasslands, investi...

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Published: 2017
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa40892
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first_indexed 2018-06-29T19:29:38Z
last_indexed 2020-09-02T03:04:56Z
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spelling 2020-09-01T16:43:14.2827767 v2 40892 2018-06-29 Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination c7839c231c3f68ce84b2f837a86b5b73 NULL Andrew M. Lucas Andrew M. Lucas true true 2018-06-29 Pollination is an ecosystem service critical to both crop production and the functioning of many ecosystems. Hoverflies (Syrphidae) are a key group of non-hymenopteran pollinators. Using a combination of field and molecular techniques, this thesis explored hoverfly communities in grasslands, investigating how they are structured, and their possible role in pollination. In addition, it also created a library of hoverfly DNA barcodes that has applications for monitoring. Hoverfly abundance and species richness was not related to grassland plant community, but was influenced by flower abundance. Distinctive hoverfly communities were also associated with agriculturally unimproved grassland communities. Focussing on species-rich marshy grasslands, a four year study showed that hoverfly abundance and species richness was influenced by weather conditions. Hoverfly abundance was at a maximum at a daily mean temperature of 15°C and at moderate rainfall, declining with both high and low temperature and rainfall. Species-richness declined with increasing daily temperature. Sequences of the standard animal barcode COI were obtained from 82 hoverfly species caught in Britain. This was added to world-wide publicly available sequences for British species to create a library of over 70% of the British hoverfly fauna. These barcodes were effective at distinguishing hoverfly species, although discrimination was poor in a small number of genera. By DNA metabarcoding pollen derived from hoverflies, the structure of hoverfly pollen transport networks in marshy grasslands was investigated. In Eristalis species, networks were generalised at the whole network and species level, but showed some specialisation by individual hoverflies. Networks of 11 hoverfly species showed that although pollen carried by hoverflies came from a few common plant taxa, different hoverfly species carried distinctive pollen loads derived from at least 40% of the entomophilous plants present. Collectively, these results increase our understanding of hoverfly community function, and their role in grassland ecosystems. E-Thesis 31 12 2017 2017-12-31 10.23889/SUthesis.40892 A selection of third party content is redacted or is partially redacted from this thesis. COLLEGE NANME Biosciences COLLEGE CODE Swansea University Doctoral Ph.D 2020-09-01T16:43:14.2827767 2018-06-29T16:15:13.9003620 College of Science Biosciences Andrew M. Lucas NULL 1 0040892-29062018161648.pdf Lucas_Andrew_M_Thesis_PhD_Final_Redacted.pdf 2018-06-29T16:16:48.4370000 Output 5789482 application/pdf Redacted version - open access true 2018-06-29T00:00:00.0000000 A selection of third party content is redacted or is partially redacted from this thesis. true
title Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination
spellingShingle Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination
Andrew M. Lucas
title_short Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination
title_full Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination
title_fullStr Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination
title_full_unstemmed Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination
title_sort Hoverfly Communities in Semi-Natural Grasslands, and their Role in Pollination
author_id_str_mv c7839c231c3f68ce84b2f837a86b5b73
author_id_fullname_str_mv c7839c231c3f68ce84b2f837a86b5b73_***_Andrew M. Lucas
author Andrew M. Lucas
author2 Andrew M. Lucas
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institution Swansea University
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hierarchy_top_title College of Science
hierarchy_parent_id collegeofscience
hierarchy_parent_title College of Science
department_str Biosciences{{{_:::_}}}College of Science{{{_:::_}}}Biosciences
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description Pollination is an ecosystem service critical to both crop production and the functioning of many ecosystems. Hoverflies (Syrphidae) are a key group of non-hymenopteran pollinators. Using a combination of field and molecular techniques, this thesis explored hoverfly communities in grasslands, investigating how they are structured, and their possible role in pollination. In addition, it also created a library of hoverfly DNA barcodes that has applications for monitoring. Hoverfly abundance and species richness was not related to grassland plant community, but was influenced by flower abundance. Distinctive hoverfly communities were also associated with agriculturally unimproved grassland communities. Focussing on species-rich marshy grasslands, a four year study showed that hoverfly abundance and species richness was influenced by weather conditions. Hoverfly abundance was at a maximum at a daily mean temperature of 15°C and at moderate rainfall, declining with both high and low temperature and rainfall. Species-richness declined with increasing daily temperature. Sequences of the standard animal barcode COI were obtained from 82 hoverfly species caught in Britain. This was added to world-wide publicly available sequences for British species to create a library of over 70% of the British hoverfly fauna. These barcodes were effective at distinguishing hoverfly species, although discrimination was poor in a small number of genera. By DNA metabarcoding pollen derived from hoverflies, the structure of hoverfly pollen transport networks in marshy grasslands was investigated. In Eristalis species, networks were generalised at the whole network and species level, but showed some specialisation by individual hoverflies. Networks of 11 hoverfly species showed that although pollen carried by hoverflies came from a few common plant taxa, different hoverfly species carried distinctive pollen loads derived from at least 40% of the entomophilous plants present. Collectively, these results increase our understanding of hoverfly community function, and their role in grassland ecosystems.
published_date 2017-12-31T04:12:32Z
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