THE POLLINATORS OF APPLE ORCHARDS OF KASHMIR VALLEY (INDIA) (DISTRIBUTIONAL DIVERSITY)Manzoor A. Paray, Sajad H. Parey, Munazah Y, Rizwana K, Barkat H. Bhat, Saurav G. And Zubair A. Rather
Studies were undertaken to explore the diversity of pollinators from agro ecosystems of Kashmir Himalaya comprising the Apple orchards at different altitudes from 1300 m MSL in district Baramulla to 2350 m MSL in district Shopian. Field experiments were conducted on 51 commercial fruit orchards at in three main apple producing districts viz. Baramulla, Pulwama and Shopian. A total of 970 Specimens were collected during the bloom period of Apple (March-April) in the year 2012-2013 belonging to two main insect orders Hymenoptera and Diptera. The calculated values of all diversity indices showed that the lowest diversity among hymenopterans was found in district Baramulla while as the highest diversity was found in district Shopian in orchards located in the karewas. Among Dipterans the lowest again was found in district Baramulla and the highest diversity was found in district Shopian. Among the hymenopterans Lasioglossum nursei dominated the scene with highest diversity in all the three districts. Among dipterans particularly in the family Syrphidae the highest diversity in district Pulwama was that of Metasyrphus bucculatus, in district Shopian that of Eristalis tenax and in district Baramulla that of Episyrphus balteatus. The undisturbed surroundings in orchards offered a good refuge to native pollinators compared to those orchards with clean cultivation. A total of 64 species of flowering plants were identified that act as a source of pollen and nectar during and the after bloom period of Apple.
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