Enhancing road verges to aid pollinator conservation: A review

Phillips, Benjamin B., Wallace, Claire, Roberts, Bethany R., Whitehouse, Andrew T., Gaston, Kevin J., Bullock, James M., Dicks, Lynn V. and Osborne, Juliet L. (2020) Enhancing road verges to aid pollinator conservation: A review. Biological Conservation. ISSN 0006-3207

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Abstract

Road verges provide habitats that have considerable potential as a tool for pollinator conservation, especially given the significant area of land that they collectively cover. Growing societal interest in managing road verges for pollinators suggests an immediate need for evidence-based management guidance. We used a formal, global literature review to assess evidence for the benefits of road verges for pollinators (as habitats and corridors), the potential negative impacts of roads on pollinators (vehicle-pollinator collisions, pollution, barriers to movement) and how to enhance road verges for pollinators through management. We identified, reviewed and synthesised 140 relevant studies. Overall, the literature review demonstrated that: (i) road verges are often hotspots of flowers and pollinators (well established), (ii) traffic and road pollution can cause mortality and other negative impacts on pollinators (well established), but available evidence suggests that the benefits of road verges to pollinators far outweigh the costs (established but incomplete), and (iii) road verges can be enhanced for pollinators through strategic management (well established). Future research should address the lack of holistic and large-scale understanding of the net effects of road verges on pollinators. We provide management recommendations for enhancing both individual road verges for pollinators (e.g. optimised mowing regimes) and entire road networks (e.g. prioritising enhancement of verges with the greatest capacity to benefit pollinators), and highlight three of the most strongly supported recommendations: (i) creating high quality habitats on new and existing road verges, (ii) reducing mowing frequency to 0–2 cuts/year and (iii) reducing impacts of street lighting.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: roadside,highway,corridor,roadkill,pollution,mowing,insects,bees,butterflies,moths,flies,beetles,ecology, evolution, behavior and systematics,nature and landscape conservation ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1105
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2020 23:49
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2020 00:29
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/76318
DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108687

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