Native pollinators in anthropogenic habitats

Rachael Winfree, Ignasi Bartomeus, Daniel P. Cariveau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

394 Scopus citations


Animals pollinate 87% of the world’s flowering plant species. Therefore, how pollinators respond to human-induced land-use change has important implications for plants and the species that depend on them. Here, we synthesize the published literature on how land-use change affects the main groups of pollinators: bees, butterflies, flies, birds, and bats. Responses to land-use change are predominantly negative but are highly variable within and across taxa. The directionality of pollinator response varies according to study design, with comparisons across gradients in surrounding landscape cover finding largely negative responses and comparisons across local land-use types finding largely positive responses. Furthermore, among the studies using landscape designs, most were performed in systemswhere landuse change is extreme, and such studies find stronger negative effects than those performed in more moderate systems. Across multiple taxa, dietary specialists show greater sensitivity to land use than do generalists. There is a need for studies of pollinator species composition and relative abundance, rather than simply species richness and aggregate abundance, to identify the species that are lost and gained with increasing land-use change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


  • Bat
  • Bee
  • Bird
  • Butterfly
  • Disturbance
  • Fly
  • Land-use change
  • Moth
  • Pollination


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