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THE Bees Thread Pt. 2

Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby M_B_S » Sat 30 Sep 2017, 07:46:43

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 093356.htm

A stinging report: Climate change a major threat to bumble bees
Date:
September 29, 2017
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
New research is helping to explain the link between a changing global climate and a dramatic decline in bumble bee populations worldwide....

As researchers work toward a better understanding of climate change and its ecological effects, the link between pollinator health and shifting climate processes is becoming impossible to ignore.

"Pollinator species around the world have been declining, but we are still learning about what might be causing declines," said FSU Professor of Biological Science Nora Underwood, a coauthor of the study. "Although not all species are influenced in the same way, I was excited to be part of this study because we now have long-term data that shows changing climate is influencing bumble bees."
*******************

All things are connected .... the question is how?

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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 05 Oct 2017, 18:25:38

Bee-Harming Pesticides in 75 Percent of Honey Worldwide

Traces of pesticides that act as nerve agents on bees have been found in 75 percent of honey worldwide, raising concern about the survival of these crucial crop pollinators, researchers said Thursday.

"Overall, 75 percent of all honey samples contained at least one neonicotinoid," said the study, led by Edward Mitchell of the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland.

"Of these contaminated samples, 30 percent contained a single neonicotinoid, 45 percent contained two or more, and 10 percent contained four or five."

The study found that 34 percent of honey samples were contaminated with "concentrations of neonicotinoids that are known to be detrimental" to bees, and warned that chronic exposure is a threat to bee survival.


The frequency of contamination was highest in the North American samples (86 percent), followed by Asia (80 percent) and Europe (79 percent).

The lowest concentrations were seen in South American samples (57 percent).

"These results suggest that a substantial proportion of world pollinators are probably affected by neonicotinoids," said the study.

"The levels detected are sufficient to affect bee brain function and may hinder their ability to forage on, and pollinate, our crops and our native plants."

Neonicotinoids have been declared a key factor in bee decline worldwide, and the European Union issued a partial ban on their use in 2013.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Fri 06 Oct 2017, 01:37:33

Time to get real & bankrupt Monsanto. Not only ban their poisons & blackmail seeds, but make them pay compensation to the beekeepers, who have been suffering hugely the last decade or so.
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Puerto Rico’s ‘Gentle Killer Bees’ Could Prevent the Bee Apo

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 19 Nov 2017, 11:15:30


Through a series of events that seem more like the plot of a Marvel movie than real life, the world’s only colony of gentle killer honey bees, a hybrid of African and European strains, turned the island of Puerto Rico into their home. It all started in 1958, when a group of ragtag African killer bees escaped from an experimental breeding program in Brazil, traveled by ship, and eventually made it to the Caribbean territory in 1994. These very aggressive bees displaced most of the gentle European bees already living there, but eventually the population evened out into colonies of docile but hardy bees. On Wednesday, the scientists behind a new article in Nature Communications explained how this mixed-trait bee population came to exist, noting that their findings offer hope to the global beekeeping community, which has witnessed the disquieting decimation


Puerto Rico’s ‘Gentle Killer Bees’ Could Prevent the Bee Apocalypse
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 20 Dec 2017, 11:13:37

Now that corporations own the government, say goodbye to bees ...

EPA Considers Allowing Bee-Killing Pesticide to Be Sprayed on 165 Million Acres of U.S. Farmland

... The proposal by the agrochemical giant Syngenta to dramatically escalate use of the harmful neonicotinoid pesticide came last Friday, on the same day the EPA released new assessments of the extensive dangers posed by neonicotinoids, including thiamethoxam.
Despite growing scientific and public concern about neonicotinoids, the application for expanded use of thiamethoxam was not announced by the EPA but quietly posted in the Federal Register.

"If the EPA grants Syngenta's wish, it will spur catastrophic declines of aquatic invertebrates and pollinator populations that are already in serious trouble," said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's environmental health program.
"You know the pesticide-approval process is broken when the EPA announces it will consider expanding the use of this dangerous pesticide on the same day its own scientists reveal that the chemical kills birds and aquatic invertebrates."

Neonicotinoids have long been known to pose serious harm to bee populations. But the new EPA assessments found the commonly used pesticides can kill and harm birds of all sizes and pose significant dangers to aquatic invertebrates.

Thiamethoxam is currently widely used as a seed coating for these crops. This application would allow it to be sprayed directly on the crops, greatly increasing the amount of pesticide that could be used.

The just-released aquatic and non-pollinator risk assessment found that the majority of uses of the neonicotinoid on currently registered crops resulted in risks to freshwater invertebrates that exceeded levels of concern—the threshold at which harm is known to occur.

The EPA did not assess risks associated with spraying the pesticides on the crops it announced it was considering expanding use to on Friday. But it is likely that increasing the number of crops approved for spraying would dramatically increase that risk.

In January the EPA released a preliminary assessment of on-field exposures to thiamethoxam that found all uses of the pesticide—on foliar, soil and seeds—result in exposures that exceed the level of concern for acute and chronic risk to adult bees. But the agency has taken no steps to restrict use of these products and is now considering expanding their use.
... A large-scale study, carried out in close coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency and published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, demonstrates that residue levels in pollen and nectar from thiamethoxam-treated seeds do not harm bees and have no effect on colony survival. The research included individual honey bees—adults and larvae—and 84 honey bee colonies.

"This robust study definitively establishes a threshold below which there are no harmful effects to honey bee colonies," said lead author Jay Overmyer, PhD, of Syngenta Crop Protection. "This information can be used to assess the potential risk of honey bee colonies exposed to thiamethoxam residues in pollen and nectar from all types of use patterns."

(study was run and paid for by the corporation that is being regulated)

Jay Overmyer et al, Thiamethoxam honey bee colony feeding study: Linking effects at the level of the individual to those at the colony level, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2017)


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Pesticides and Poor Nutrition Damage Bee Health

The combined effects of pesticides and a lack of nutrition form a deadly one-two punch, new research from biologists at the University of California San Diego has shown for the first time.

In a study published Dec. 20 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Simone Tosi, James Nieh and their colleagues used honey bees due to their important role as agricultural pollinators and "bioindicators" of environmental quality. The researchers studied how honey bees fared with exposure to neonicotinoids—pesticides broadly used in agriculture—along with limited nutrient sources, scenarios that are commonly found in agricultural areas.

The researchers were surprised to find that bee deaths increased by up to 50 percent more than they expected compared with the individual effects of pesticides and poor nutrition alone. Surprisingly, no previous studies have tested such "synergistic" effects when these threats are combined and amplified beyond the sums of the individual factors.

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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 20 Dec 2017, 14:45:53

Thanks for this, vox. You are a gem.
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What’s killing the world’s bees? New study claims a surprisi

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 31 Dec 2017, 10:52:00

Scientists have found what they believe to be the strongest factor leading to the worryingly steep decline of bumblebees… fungicides. The discovery has now been added to the growing list of threats that could potentially lead to the extinction of the essential pollinators. The revelation that common fungicides are having the strongest impact on the insects came as a surprise, as they typically affect mold and mildew, but appear to be killing bees by making them more susceptible to the nosema parasite or by exacerbating the toxicity of other pesticides. Read more Canada fails to protect bees by opting against full pesticide ban – environmentalists The discovery was made during a landscape-scale study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, which used machine learning technology to analyze 24 different factors and how they impacted four bumblebee species. The study


What’s killing the world’s bees? New study claims a surprising culprit
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Re: THE Bees Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 18 Jan 2018, 10:32:12

Agricultural Fungicide Attracts Honey Bees, Study Finds

When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports
To the researchers' surprise, the bees also preferred sugar syrup laced with glyphosate - the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide - at 10 parts per billion, but not at higher concentrations. And while the bees actively avoided syrup containing the fungicide prochloraz, they showed a mild preference for sugar syrup laced with chlorothalonil at 0.5 and 50 parts per billion, but not at 500 ppb.

The puzzling finding comes on the heels of other studies linking fungicides to declines in honey bee and wild bee populations. One recent study, for example, found parallels between the use of chlorothalonil and the presence of Nosema bombi, a fungal parasite, in bumble bees. Greater chlorothalonil use also was linked to range contractions in four declining bumble bee species.

Other research has shown that European honey bees have a very limited repertoire of detoxifying enzymes and that exposure to one potentially toxic compound - including fungicides - can interfere with their ability to metabolize others.

"People assume that fungicides affect only fungi," said University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, who led the new research with postdoctoral researcher Ling-Hsiu Liao. "But fungi are much more closely related to animals than they are to plants. And toxins that disrupt physiological processes in fungi can also potentially affect them in animals, including insects."

Also, a 2015 study found that European honey bees and at least one species of bumble bee actually prefer food laced with neonicotinoid pesticides.

The new findings are worrisome in light of research showing that exposure to fungicides interferes with honey bees' ability to metabolize the acaricides used by beekeepers to kill the parasitic varroa mites that infest their hives, the researchers said.

"The dose determines the poison," Berenbaum said. "If your ability to metabolize poisons is compromised, then a therapeutic dose can become a toxic dose. And that seems to be what happens when honey bees encounter multiple pesticides."

Ling-Hsiu Liao et al, Behavioral responses of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to natural and synthetic xenobiotics in food, Scientific Reports (2017)

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Re: THE Bees Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sat 15 Sep 2018, 10:22:01

Keeping Honeybees Doesn't Save Bees – Or the Environment

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Beekeeping is often promoted as a way to conserve pollinators and, as a result, is on the rise. It's great to see people backing the pollinator movement, but managing hives does nothing to protect our wild pollinators. It's the equivalent of farming chickens to save wild birds.

High numbers of honeybees can actively harm wild bee populations, because they compete directly for nectar and pollen. That's not a problem when flowers are plentiful, but in environments where resources are limited, wild bees can be outcompeted. A lack of flowers is one of the main factors behind the decline in bee populations. Initiatives such as urban beekeeping put more pressure on wild bees and worsen the decline.

Solitary bees are twice as likely to pollinate the flowers they visit as their more sociable counterparts, according to a new study. They and bumblebees also made more than twice as much contact with the stigma, the pollen-collecting part of the flower, as honeybees.

Honeybees are extremely efficient at collecting pollen and returning it to their hives, but as a consequence they transfer little to the flowers they visit. They are quantifiably less effective at pollination than wild bees, so changes in foraging patterns also have knock-on consequences for the plant community. When honeybees occur in high numbers, they can push wild bees out of an area, making it harder for wild plants to reproduce. Honeybees are not a substitute for wild pollinators, so we must protect the entire bee community to achieve good quality pollination.

Honeybee hives are regularly traded locally and internationally, allowing the rapid spread of diseases and parasites, such as deformed wing virus and Varroa mite. These pathogens can spill over from managed hives into wild bumblebee populations and spread between wild bee species when they visit the same flower.

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... Bumblebee populations are declining in the United States for a range of reasons—loss of habitat, pesticide use, climate change, competition from non-native species, and non-native parasites. As major plant pollinators, bumblebees are important to plant reproduction and the overall health of ecosystems. As the abundance of these large hairy bees has dropped in recent decades, scientists have held out hope that smaller native bee species can step in as efficient and effective alternative pollinators.

A new study indicates, however, that smaller bees, while every bit as busy as bumblebees, are not good substitutes for their bigger cousins because they remove more pollen than they transfer, thereby providing little benefit to plants. In fact, some small bees can even reduce plant fertilization by "stealing" pollen rather than spreading it to the stigma of flowers, ultimately resulting in a decline in seed production.

... "The finding really speaks to the need to maintain habitat and conditions for the proliferation of bumblebees," Koski said. "They are important pollinators for many crops and wild plants, and with less of them we could see a changing landscape."
https://phys.org/news/2018-06-small-bee ... ctive.html


Bees love blue fluorescent light, and not just any wavelength will do

Researchers at Oregon State University have learned that a specific wavelength range of blue fluorescent light set bees abuzz.

"The blue fluorescence just triggered a crazy response in the bees, told them they must go to it," said the study's corresponding author, Oksana Ostroverkhova. "It's not just their vision, it's something behavioral that drives them."


The findings are a powerful tool for assessing and manipulating bee populations—such as, for example, if a farmer needed to attract large numbers of bees for a couple of weeks to get his or her crop pollinated.

"Blue is broad enough wavelength-wise that we needed to figure out if it mattered to the bees if the light emitted by the sunlight-illuminated trap was more toward the purple end or the green end, and yes, it mattered," Ostroverkhova said. "What's also important is now we've created traps ourselves using stage lighting filters and fluorescent paint—we're not just reliant on whatever traps come in a box. We've learned how to use commercially available materials to create something that's very deployable."

Fluorescent light is what's seen when a fluorescent substance absorbs ultraviolet rays or some other type of lower-wavelength radiation and then immediately emits it as higher-wavelength visible light—think about a poster whose ink glows when hit by the UV rays of a blacklight.

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... Researchers examined responses to traps designed to selectively stimulate either the blue or the green photoreceptor using sunlight-induced fluorescence with wavelengths of 420 to 480 nanometers and 510 to 540 nanometers, respectively.

They found out that selective excitation of the green photoreceptor type was not attractive, in contrast to that of the blue.

"And when we selectively highlighted the blue photoreceptor type, we learned the bees preferred blue fluorescence in the 430- to 480-nanometer range over that in the 400-420 region," Ostroverkhova said.

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Caryopteris

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Agastache foeniculum
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Re: THE Bees Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 24 Sep 2018, 14:30:29

Common Weed Killer Linked To Bee Deaths

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The world's most widely used weed killer may also be indirectly killing bees. New research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that honey bees exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts and are more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.

Because glyphosate interferes with an important enzyme found in plants and microorganisms, but not in animals, it has long been assumed to be nontoxic to animals, including humans and bees. But this latest study shows that by altering a bee's gut microbiome -- the ecosystem of bacteria living in the bee's digestive tract, including those that protect it from harmful bacteria -- glyphosate compromises its ability to fight infection.

The findings are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"We need better guidelines for glyphosate use, especially regarding bee exposure, because right now the guidelines assume bees are not harmed by the herbicide,"... "Our study shows that's not true."

The researchers exposed honey bees to glyphosate at levels known to occur in crop fields, yards and roadsides. The researchers painted the bees' backs with colored dots so they could be tracked and later recaptured. Three days later, they observed that the herbicide significantly reduced healthy gut microbiota. Of eight dominant species of healthy bacteria in the exposed bees, four were found to be less abundant. The hardest hit bacterial species, Snodgrassella alvi, is a critical microbe that helps bees process food and defend against pathogens.

The bees with impaired gut microbiomes also were far more likely to die when later exposed to an opportunistic pathogen, Serratia marcescens, compared with bees with healthy guts. Serratia is a widespread opportunistic pathogen that infects bees around the world. About half of bees with a healthy microbiome were still alive eight days after exposure to the pathogen, while only about a tenth of bees whose microbiomes had been altered by exposure to the herbicide were still alive.

"It's not the only thing causing all these bee deaths, but it is definitely something people should worry about because glyphosate is used everywhere," said Motta.

Native bumble bees have microbiomes similar to honey bees, so Moran said it's likely that they would be affected by glyphosate in a similar way.

Erick V. S. Motta el al., "Glyphosate perturbs the gut microbiota of honey bees," PNAS (2018).
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Re: THE Bees Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 04 Oct 2018, 10:14:19

Fungus Provides Powerful Medicine To Fight Honey Bee Viruses

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A mushroom extract fed to honey bees greatly reduces virus levels, according to a new paper from Washington State University scientists, the USDA and colleagues at Fungi Perfecti, a business based in Olympia, Washington.
In field trials, colonies fed mycelium extract from amadou and reishi fungi showed a 79-fold reduction in deformed wing virus and a 45,000-fold reduction in Lake Sinai virus compared to control colonies.

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Deformed Wing Virus

Though it's in the early stages of development, the researchers see great potential in this research.

"Our greatest hope is that these extracts have such an impact on viruses that they may help varroa mites become an annoyance for bees, rather than causing huge devastation," said Steve Sheppard, a WSU entomology professor and one of the paper's authors. "We're excited to see where this research leads us. Time is running out for bee populations and the safety and security of the world's food supply hinges on our ability to find means to improve pollinator health."

This is the first research paper to come out of a partnership between Sheppard's lab and Fungi Perfecti. Their co-owner and founder Paul Stamets is a co-author on the paper.

"We aren't sure if the mycelium is boosting the bees' immune system or actually fighting the viruses," Sheppard said. "We're working to figure that out, along with testing larger groups of colonies to develop best management practices and determine how much extract should be used and when to have the best impact."

The treated bee colonies in this experiment were fed an oral treatment of mycelial extracts in dozens of small WSU bee colonies infested with varroa mites.

"It's a really easy treatment to apply," Sheppard said. "After we follow larger colonies for a full year, we can develop recommendations for how to use the extracts. Then it is expected that Fungi Perfecti will ramp up production."

Right now, the mycelium extract isn't currently available in levels for beekeepers to purchase for their hives.

"We are ramping up production of the extracts as rapidly as is feasible, given the hurdles we must overcome to deploy this on a wide scale," Stamets added. "Those who are interested in being kept up to date, can sign up for more information at http://www.fungi.com.
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Re: THE Bees Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Thu 04 Oct 2018, 18:08:56

Walked outside this morning there was a massive buzz it took me a while to work out it was thousands of bees all through a gum tree that was flowering.
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Re: THE Bees Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 04 Oct 2018, 19:49:18

They seem to like linden up here (New England), though, right now, they're going crazy on the caryopteris bush and licorice hyssop. (see above).

Mostly bumblebees and solitary bees though.

About 90% of the honeybee hives didn't make it through the winter in our state. I can count on one hand the number of honeybees I've seen this summer.
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Re: THE Bees Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 18 Oct 2018, 09:37:53

Distribution of Bumblebees Across Europe

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Scientists have mapped the distribution of bumblebees in Europe and created a predictive map that can be used to monitor and mitigate bumblebee decline.

The recent decline in plant and crop pollination represents a threat to ecosystems and agriculture.

Most species are currently located in central Europe.

Their presence decreases towards European coasts, due to the unsuitably hot weather around the Mediterranean Sea.

Global warming is likely to impact the future distribution of bumblebees.

The decline in pollinators is a global phenomenon, which is exacerbated by pesticide use and habitat loss.


Study Uncovers New Link Between Neonicotinoid Pesticide Exposure and Bumblebee Decline

Worcester, Mass. - Adding to growing evidence that pesticide use may be contributing to the decline of many bumblebee species across North America, a new study reveals that daily consumption of even small doses of a widely used class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids reduces the survival of queen and male bees, which are critical to the survival of wild populations. The study also found that exposure to the chemicals alters the expression of genes regulating biological functions such as locomotion, reproduction, immunity, and learning and memory, suggesting that neonicotinoids may be having a greater negative impact on the viability of wild bumblebee populations than previously thought.

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Gegear says the study findings show, for the first time, that exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides at normal environmental levels has the potential to negatively impact wild bumblebees at every life stage, thus accelerating population decline. "Not only do neonicotinoids have the potential to reduce the number of queens establishing nests at the beginning of the cycle and the number of males and queens available to mate at the end of the cycle, our work shows that they also have the potential to reduce the ability of males to produce sperm, the ability of queens to acquire floral resources, and the ability of queens and males to fight off infection, all of which can compromise population stability."

Melissa W. Mobley et al. One size does not fit all: Caste and sex differences in the response of bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to chronic oral neonicotinoid exposure, PLOS ONE (2018).

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-uncovers- ... e.html#jCp


Study Reveals Best Use of Wildflowers to Benefit Crops on Farms

The researchers conducted surveys of pollinators, pests, wasps that parasitize pests, fruit yield and fruit damage over three years. The tiny parasitizing wasps lay their eggs inside tarnished plant bug nymphs - a pest that costs New York strawberry growers 30 percent of their annual yield. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the nymphs.

The wildflower strips were increasingly effective at attracting pollinators as each year passed. The result that "between 25 and 55 percent [surrounding natural landscapes] was the best range in terms of promoting bees," closely matched what the Goldilocks theory predicted, Grab said.

But when it came to pests, wildflowers outside the Goldilocks zone attracted the most pests and didn't add more wasps. "It suggests the parasitoids are not responding to wildflower strips at all," Grab said. More study is needed to understand why.

Analyses revealed many wildflower species attracted both pests and bees, but some species like fleabane (Erigeron annuus) lured the most pests and were least effective at drawing bees.

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Erigeron annuus = Not Good

"If you wanted to optimize the wildflower patches, I would suggest we eliminate some of those from the list of recommended species in the plantings," Grab said.

Heather Grab et al, Landscape context shifts the balance of costs and benefits from wildflower borders on multiple ecosystem services, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2018)
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