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Edge contrast does not modulate edge effect on plants and pollinators

Abstract : Edge contrast, is one of the main determinants of edge effects. This study examines the response of plant and pollinatordiversity (bees and butterflies) to forest edge contrast, i.e. the difference between forests and adjacent open habitats withdifferent disturbance regimes. We also investigated a potential cascading effect from plants to pollinators and whether edgestructure and landscape composition mediate the relationship between edge contrast and beta diversity of pollinators. Wesampled 51 low-contrast edges where forests were adjacent to habitats showing low levels of disturbance (i.e. grey dunes,mowed fire-breaks, orchards, grasslands) and 29 high-contrast edges where forests were adjacent to more intensively disturbedhabitats (i.e. tilled firebreaks, oilseed rape) in three regions of France. We showed that plant diversities were higher in edges thanin adjacent open habitat, whatever the edge contrast. However, plant beta diversity did not differ significantly between low andhigh-contrast edges. While we observed higher pollinator diversities in adjacent habitats than in low-contrast edges, there wereno significant differences in pollinator beta diversity depending on edge contrast. We did not observe a cascading effect from plants to pollinators. Plant and bee beta diversities were mainly explained by local factors (edge structure and flower cover)while butterfly beta diversity was explained by surrounding landscape characteristics (proportion of land cover in grassland).
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Émilie Andrieu, Alain Cabanettes, Audrey Alignier, Inge van Halder, Didier Alard, et al.. Edge contrast does not modulate edge effect on plants and pollinators. Basic and Applied Ecology, Elsevier, 2018, 27, pp.83-95. ⟨10.1016/j.baae.2017.11.003⟩. ⟨hal-02607355⟩



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