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Étude fonctionnelle de la fonction de pollinisation entomophile en prairie permanente sous l'effet d'un gradient d'intensification agricole

Abstract : Decline in biodiversity and its impacts on ecosystem functioning are critical issues we are facing in the 21st century. Intensive agriculture is nowadays considered as one of the factors behind this decline, sparking off a societal desire toward an agroecological transition. Agroecology aims at integrating ecological functions into food production processes. Permanent grasslands are at the core of these issues, because of their essential roles in livestock feeding, but also because of their ability to harbor a rich biodiversity. Intensification of agricultural practices can modify plant and pollinator communities, but also interactions between these two trophic levels. Presently, the mechanisms behind these modifications are little studied, and even less with a functional trait-based approach as we propose in this PhD thesis. The goals of this PhD thesis are: 1) to study the effects of local land-use intensification on functional diversity of floral traits and their consequences on pollination function; 2) to study the relationships between functional diversity of floral traits and both taxonomic and functional diversities of pollinators; 3) to determine if hairiness and surface of pollinator face are good predictors of face pollen load. To do so, we selected 16 permanent grasslands belonging to a land-use intensification gradient in Moselle, France. We measured five floral traits belonging to three categories (cue/signal, exploitation barrier, reward) from plant species in the communities we followed. We established visual plant-pollinator interaction networks by catching foraging insects along transects. Finally, we measured insect body mass, as well as the surface and the hairiness of their face which were related to their face pollen load. Firstly, we found a significant effect of soil fertility on functional diversity of floral traits, but no effect of land-use intensification. While soil fertility is already known to influence functional diversity of vegetative traits, our results show for the first time an effect of soil characteristics on functional diversity of floral traits, that could be caused by exclusive competition. Moreover, an increase in functional diversity of floral traits results in an increase in plant-pollinator interaction frequency, a proxy of pollination function. This result is in congruence with the expected positive relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We also found that an increase in functional diversity of nectar sugar production increases pollinator taxonomic richness but not functional diversity of their body mass. This result suggests the importance to maximize functional diversity of sugar production to maintain a high taxonomic diversity of pollinators, while pollinators face currently a global decline. Lastly, we showed an increase in face pollen load of pollinators with hairiness as well as surface of this body part, validating these two pollination effect traits for a set of wild plant species, while until now it was only done for a few cultivated plant species. This PhD thesis thus brings a unique perspective of cascading effects from local factors to pollination function in permanent grasslands.
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Jérémie Goulnik. Étude fonctionnelle de la fonction de pollinisation entomophile en prairie permanente sous l'effet d'un gradient d'intensification agricole. Agronomie. Université de Lorraine, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0297⟩. ⟨tel-02559535⟩

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