DIVERSITY ASSESSMENT OF REGIONAL CROP POLLINATING BEE FAUNA IN ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVEGurpreet Singh Makkar and Pardeep K. Chhuneja
Bees being the most dominant pollen vectors of angiosperms assume a highly significant role in maintenance of ecosystem functioning. In response to the documented global threats to this free ecosystem-service and its providers, a widespread concern is triggered for accounting regional bee diversity and shifts. An organized research programme focussed on these issues is a large information gap in India. To partly fill this service gap, we discuss the role of bees as most dominant pollen vectors and the conceptual framework of measuring bee species diversity. As the species diversity is most widely accepted metrics for assessing diversity, we discuss commonly used indices of diversity to substantiate the individual contribution of native species in relation to different crops and geographical regions of the world. Such crucial documented information on the species richness, abundance and equitability of regional bee fauna would form a baseline data which is compulsory for further documenting substantial shifts or declines in the species composition, density or diversity. Such studies would serve as potential basis for initiating habitat management programmes for conservation of native pollinator fauna and sustainable agricultural development.
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