Quantitative floral phenology at the landscape scale: Is a comparative spatio-temporal description of ”flowering landscapes” possible? [An article from: Journal for Nature Conservation] [HTML] (Digital)
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Entomophilous flowers form the food resources for insect pollinators. Many pollinator species forage at the landscape scale and depend on floral resources that are highly variable in space and time. We present a general model approach in which the floral resources of plant communities are estimated by the floral phenology and the cover of entomophilous plant species. We applied this landscape model in a case study for three landscape sections (1.5-2.2km^2) with strongly differing land-use patterns. The comparison between a conservation area and two agricultural landscapes shows extreme differences in the quantities and in the course of floral resources. In a stepwise simplification of the landscape model we tested the effects of input data with lower spatio-temporal resolution. Even if input data for floral phenology and vegetation have a low resolution, the landscape model allows a ranking of landscape-specific floral resource potentials. The results of the case study encourage the use of landscape models to estimate floral resource potentials. The assessment of floral resource potentials may help to define this essential landscape quality for evaluation in practical nature conservation.