Native insect pollinators in Apple orchards under different management practices in the Kashmir Valley
Keywords:Native insect pollinator, Managed pollination, Apple orchard types
AbstractIt is now clear that over use of pesticides and intensive management of orchards can lead to drastic declines in apple pollinator abundance and crop failures. During the period of study a grower‘s survey was conducted to know about knowledge of farmers on native insect pollinators, pollinator management practices, their perceptions of the importance and utility of native pollinators, and their attitudes regarding pesticide application. Despite of having significant knowledge of managed pollination, only few farmers (2%) adopted supplementary methods of pollination (renting honey bee colonies, hand pollination etc.). In Pulwama, 60% of farmers had knowledge about native insect pollinators and 40% did not have any idea of native pollinators and in case of Shopian, the figures were fifty-fifty i.e. 50% had knowledge about native insect pollinators and 50% were unaware. During the period of investigation, native insect pollinators were sampled from different apple orchards under different management systems in early spring during apple flowering. A total of 17 species of insect pollinators belonging to 11 families and 3 orders_ Hymenoptera, Diptera and Lepidoptera registered their occurrence at all the studied apple orchards of the Kashmir Valley. At all the study sites i.e. apple orchards under different management systems, family Halictidae and Empididae registered their presence as dominant groups. The % family contribution of the former at different orchard types decreased with increase in the intensity of the management system and the % family contribution of the later however, showed a direct relationship with the management system found, i.e. the more intense the system, the more abundant was the group. Other groups in general did not show any greater differences in abundances at different sites studied.
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