A survey of pollinators in four urban areas of China
Given global concerns of pollinator abundance and diversity, there is a pressing need for data to measure and track the levels of naturally occurring pollinators globally. With outside funding, a team of five students and two faculty from Benedictine University travelled to China in the summer of 2014 and surveyed a variety of sites in urban areas of four different provinces for the quantity and diversity of insect pollinators. We sampled areas within Liaoning, Sichuan, and Shaanxi provinces and the Beijing municipality.
In Liaoning, Shaanxi, and Beijing, we saw a higher diversity of flies than bees or butterflies. At all sites, true bugs and butterflies were seen in much lower numbers than bees, wasps, or flies. Our highest visitation rates were recorded in Xi'an (in Shaanxi province), with similarly high rates seen in an agricultural field in Liaoning and in gardens in Chengdu (Sichuan province) and city parks in Beijing. In contrast, our lowest rates of visitation were seen in an agricultural area in Beijing near a Great Wall site and on a university campus in Liaoning.
Additional observations and studies are planned for early summer of 2015 in Liaoning and Beijing.