Diversity and Relative Abundance of Insect Pollinators in Moroccan Agroecosystems

Published Date
July 11, 2022
Type
Journal Article
Diversity and Relative Abundance of Insect Pollinators in Moroccan Agroecosystems
Authors:
Insafe El Abdouni
Patrick Lhomme, Stefanie Christmann, Achik Dorchin, Ahlam Sentil, Ahlam Sentil, Alain Pauly, Laila Hamroud, Laila Hamroud, Oumayma Ihsane, Oumayma Ihsane, Sara Reverté, Sebastien Patiny, Thomas J. Wood, Youssef Bencharki, Youssef Bencharki, Pierre Rasmont, Denis Michez

Agroecosystems are often impoverished ecosystems, but they can host diverse
communities of insects which provide ecosystem services. Specifically, crops may
benefit from insect pollinators that increase their quantity and quality of yields. Basic
knowledge is still needed regarding the identity, diversity, abundance, and ecology of
insect pollinators in many parts of the world, especially in low and middle-income
countries. In this study we investigate the potential of agroecosystems and crops in
Morocco to host a high diversity of insect pollinators. We sampled insects in four
eco-climatic regions encompassing a total of 22 crops for 2 years (2018–2019).
After describing the general pattern of diversity and abundance of insect pollinators,
we focused our comparative analyses on bees as they are known to be the most
efficient and abundant group of insect pollinators. We recorded a total of 53,361 insect
pollinators in all agroecosystems among which 37,091 were visiting crop flowers. Bees
were by far the most abundant group visiting crops. Honeybees represented 49% of
crop visitors followed by wild bees representing 33% of relative abundance. Three
genera (Lasioglossum, Andrena, and Xylocopa) represented 53% of the total abundance
of wild bees visiting crops. We identified a total of 213 species visiting crops (22% of
national wild bee species richness). A comparison of the abundance, species richness,
and community composition of wild bees visiting the same crops showed significant
inter-regional differences for zucchini, faba bean, and eggplant. This study highlights the
high diversity of pollinators in Moroccan agroecosystems and represents an important
step toward exploring the Moroccan pollinator fauna. It provides basic information for
future studies on pollinator conservation and pollination services.

Citation:
Insafe El Abdouni, Patrick Lhomme, Stefanie Christmann, Achik Dorchin, Ahlam Sentil, Alain Pauly, Laila Hamroud, Oumayma Ihsane, Sara Reverté, Sebastien Patiny, Thomas J. Wood, Youssef Bencharki, Pierre Rasmont, Denis Michez. (11/7/2022). Diversity and Relative Abundance of Insect Pollinators in Moroccan Agroecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 10.
Keywords:
wild bees
pollination services
honeybees
andrena
xylocopa
lasioglossum