Mass-flowering crops, such as oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus), provide pulses of nectar and pollen helping to support pollinators and their pollination services, in agricultural landscapes. Despite their value to declining pollinators, varietal in-field OSR testing focusses on agronomic traits with floral resources being largely overlooked. OSR has a high varietal turnover, and consequently, floral resource data collected for a specific variety quickly becomes redundant. Here we explore the potential to predict floral resource availability using agronomic trait data routinely collected in varietal trials. To build predictive models, we investigated the relationships between agronomic traits and pollen and nectar availability in 19 OSR varieties. Nectar quality was positively influenced by early vigour and winter hardiness in conventional varieties, and stem stiffness in hybrid varieties. Pollen quantity was driven by different traits with early maturation having a negative impact in conventional varieties and resistance to lodging having a positive impact in hybrid varieties. Our study highlights that we can predict floral resources using agronomic trait data enabling the rapid assessment of these key resources in future OSR varieties, without costly sampling. Agronomic traits relating to increased nectar quality were also agro-nomically favourable, indicating benefits to both pollinators and growers. The inclusion of modelled floral resource data in recommended varietal lists will enable growers to make informed decisions about varietal selection based on local pollinator populations.
Fairhurst, Stacey; Jackson, Gail; Cole, Lorna. (2021). Agronomic trait and floral resource data, 2019 [dataset]. University of Edinburgh. School of Geosciences. Global Change.. https://doi.org/10.7488/ds/2978.
|Date made available||22 Jan 2021|
|Temporal coverage||24 Apr 2019 - 2 May 2019|
|Geographical coverage||UK,UNITED KINGDOM|