Windborne migration amplifies insect-mediated pollination services
Worldwide, hoverflies (Syrphidae: Diptera) provide crucial ecosystem services such as pollination and biological pest control. Although many hoverfly species exhibit migratory behavior, the spatiotemporal facets of these movement dynamics and their ecosystem services implications are poorly understood. In this study, we use long-term (16 yr) trapping records, trajectory analysis and intrinsic (i.e., isotope, genetic, pollen) markers to describe migration patterns of the hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus in northern China. Our work reveals how E. balteatus migrate northward during spring-summer and exhibits return (long-range) migration during autumn. The extensive genetic mixing and high genetic diversity of E. balteatus populations underscore its adaptive capacity to environmental disturbances e.g., climate change. Pollen markers and molecular gut-analysis further illuminate how E. balteatus visits min. 1,012 flowering plant species (39 orders) over space and time. By thus delineating E. balteatus trans-regional movements and pollination networks, we advance our understanding of its migration ecology and facilitate the design of targeted strategies to conserve and enhance its ecosystem services.
The raw MiSeq data from DNA metabarcoding of gut contents has been deposited at NCBI Sequence Read Archive (SRA) under BioProject PRJNA816296. All data supporting the findings of this study are available within the Article, the Extended Data and the Supplementary Information files.
Article and author information
The Laboratory of Lingnan Modern Agriculture Project (NT2021003)
- Kongming Wu
The Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program Cooperation and Innovation Mission (CAAS-XTCX2018022)
- Kongming Wu
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Youngsung Joo, Chungbuk National University, Republic of Korea
- Received: December 8, 2021
- Preprint posted: February 3, 2022 (view preprint)
- Accepted: April 11, 2022
- Accepted Manuscript published: April 13, 2022 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: April 26, 2022 (version 2)
© 2022, Jia et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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