Rebecca I. A. Stewart, Georg K. S. Andersson, Christer Brönmark, Björn K.Klatt, Lars-Anders Hansson, Valentina Zülsdorff, Henrik G. Smithad
We assessed whether the presence of a pond affects the abundance of pollinators and the quality and quantity of strawberry yield. We compared the abundance of pollinators and the quality and quantity of strawberries between habitats adjacent to the pond, semi-natural terrestrial habitat and field border without semi-natural vegetation (control habitat).
We found significantly higher abundances of syrphids and bees next to ponds compared to control habitats. Also, syrphids were significantly more abundant at pond habitats compared to vegetation habitats and a similar tendency, although not significant, was found for the abundance of bees. The quantity and quality of strawberries was significantly higher near the vegetation and pond habitats compared to the control habitats.
Our result supports the theory that the presence of semi-natural habitats, in the agricultural landscape benefits both public interest in biodiversity conservation and farmers’ interest in crop pollination. These benefits may also come from ponds as semi natural habitats. However, further studies are required to disentangle the effect of the pond per se and the effect of the associated terrestrial vegetation.