A land for flowers and bees: studying pollination ecology in Mediterranean communities

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Plant – pollinator relationships are of great importance to ecosystem health. Here, we review the importance of Mediterranean habitats for bees, and interactions between plants and pollinators using the pollinator food web approach. We explore the characteristics of reward and attraction in plants, the utility of pollination syndromes and, most importantly, the effect of disturbance and human influence on plant – pollinator communities in the Mediterranean. Finally, we address the major impediment faced in pollination studies in the Mediterranean, i.e., the taxonomic limitation of bees and aculeates in general, and we introduce the ‘Melissotheque of the Aegean' a reference bee collection that aims to place some taxonomic capacity in the eastern Mediterranean area.

Keywords: Mediterranean; bees; biogeography; conservation biology; floral traits; plant – pollinator interactions; pollination ecology; taxonomy

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11263500500333941

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of the Aegean, Mytilene, Greece

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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