Quantitative study of the impact of natural areas of the Markazi Province on pollination based on a distribution modeling approach

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran Water, Energy and Environment Research Institute, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran

3 Water, Energy and Environment Research Institute, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran Department of Environmental Science, Malayer University, Hamedan, Iran


Introduction: Extracting honey from beehives is one of the economic activities for local communities, which is effective in the direct and indirect employment of villagers and as a result, the sustainable development of these areas. Among the pollinating insects, bees play a much more prominent role, and usually the location of the hives can determine the extent of benefit from this ecosystem service. Among bees of Iran, Carnica hybrid (Apis mellifera meda) has a special place in honey production. Despite various studies conducted on this hybrid, so far none has investigated the suitable conditions for the placement of beehives of this species, so this study seeks to identify suitable areas for the establishment of beehives. Awareness of the areas that are prone to beehive placement can be one of the priorities of the planners in the field of agriculture and animal husbandry in Markazi Province.
Material and Methods: In this study, in order to model the areas that are susceptible to pollination, variables such as spring density, height, topographic humidity, light shade, average spot size, land use/cover, landscape diversity edge density, distance from agricultural land, average wind speed up to a height of 10 meters, roughness of vegetation and vegetation density were used. Since it is difficult to access all the areas that are not suitable for the establishment of hives in the modeling process, alternative methods such as pseudo-absence methods were used. However, identifying suitable areas for recording pseudo-absence points can also result in errors. Therefore, first, using the output of presence-only models, pollination desirability was calculated. Then, by subtracting the desirable areas from the entire surface of the land, pseudo-absence points were randomly created in the remaining areas. After preparation of this group of points, the presence/pseudo-absence models were ready to be implemented. In order to evaluate distribution models, TPR variables and the Kappa index were used. TPR, which is also referred to as sensitivity, is a numerical value that identifies the percentage of presence points that are detected again after applying the presence point threshold. Also, a random forest model was used to calculate the impact of this data set on environmental changes.
Results and Discussion: The presence-only models in this study were implemented with adequate power. The value of AUC was calculated as 0.89, 0.90 and 0.76, respectively, for Bioclim, Domian and single-class support vector machine models. The results of the evaluation of the used models showed that all models have well predicted the presence of beehives in the areas of pseudo-absence of beehives. The Kappa index for this category of models was at least equal to 0.83. On the other hand, based on the TPR criterion, many of the hive points have been detected again after applying the hive threshold, which can indicate a good level of prediction of the used models. Also, the findings showed that the diversity of the landscape had a greater impact on the quality of pollination than the proximity to agricultural lands. The height of up to 1813 meters above sea level, as well as the wind speed of 3.47 meters per second, were the best conditions for the presence of beehives. Among the different cities, Arak, Farahan, Khandab, Shazand and Khomein had the highest value for pollination.
Conclusion: Planning for the protection of natural areas as well as areas prone to the establishment of beehives can be done with emphasize on the location of Arak, Farahan, Khandab, Shazand and Khomein cities. The findings of this study show that the use of species distribution models can be effective in identifying suitable areas for beehive establishment and pollination activity. On the other hand, combining the findings of this group of studies with other spatial data that determine the patterns of the landscape can provide a clear view of the influence of the landscape.


Albrechta, M., Knechta, A., Riesen, M., Rutza, Th. and Gansera, D., 2021. Time since establishment drives bee and hoverfly diversity, abundance of crop-pollinating bees and aphidophagous hoverflies in perennial wildflower strips. Basic and Applied Ecology. 57 (2021), 102- 114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2021.10.003
Bommarco, R., Lundin, O., Smith, H.G. and Rundl€of, M., 2011. Drastic historic shifts in bumble-bee community composition in Sweden. Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences, 279, 309– 315. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.0647
Boreux, V., Krishnan, S., Cheppudira, K.G. and Ghazoul, J., 2013. Impact of forest fragments on bee visits and fruit set in rain-fed and irrigated coffee agro-forests. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 172, 42-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2012.05.003
Brittain, C., Kremen, C. and Klein, A.M., 2013. Biodiversity buffers pollination from changes in environmental conditions. Global Change Biology. 19 (2), 540- 547. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12043
Carvalheiro, L.G., Seymour, C.L., Veldtman, R. and Nicolson, S.W., 2010. Pollination services decline with distance from natural habitat even in biodiversity-rich areas. Journal of Applied Ecology. 47, 810- 820. https://doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664. 2010.01829.x
Dadgostar, Sh., Delkash Roudsari, S., Nozari, J., Tahmasbi, Gh. and Hosseini Naveh, V., 2020. Comparison between native’s honey bee (Apis mellifera meda) and Carniolan hybrid ‎races (Apis mellifera carnica) in Hamedan province‎. Iranian Journal of Plant Protection Science. 50 (2), 187- 195. (In Persian with English abstract). https://doi.org/10.22059/ijpps.2019.249277.1006822
Darvishi, A., Yousefi, M. and Mobarghaee Dinan, N., 2021. Evaluating the Correlation Between Pollination Ecosystem Service and Landscape Pattern metrics (Case Study: Qazvin Province). Iranian Journal of Applied Ecology. 10 (35), 51- 63. (In Persian with English abstract). http://dorl.net/dor/20.1001.1.24763128.1400.
Garibaldi, L. A., Carvalheiro, L. G., Vaissière, B. E., Gemmill- Herren, B., Hipólito, J., Freitas, B. M. and An, J.,2016. Mutually beneficial pollinator diversity and crop yield outcomes in small and large farms. Science. 351, 388- 391. http://doi: 10.1126/ science.aac7287
Geeraert, L., Aerts, R., Berecha, G., Daba, G., De Fruyt, N., D’hollander, J., Helsen, K., Stynen, H. and Honnay, O., 2020. Effects of landscape composition on bee communities and coffee pollination in Coffea arabica production forests in southwestern Ethiopia. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 288, p.106706. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.106706.
Ghanavati, F., 2016. The Role and Importance of Pollination and Pollinators in Agriculture (The First Part). Research Achievements for Field and Horticulture Crops. 5 (1), 11- 21. (In Persian with English abstract).
Gorelick, N., Hancher, M., Dixon, M., Ilyushchenko, S., Thau, D. and Moore, R., 2017. Google Earth Engine: Planetary-scale geospatial analysis for everyone. Remote sensing of Environment, 202, pp.18-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.06.031
Gorzin, Z., Nehzati Paqeleh, Gh. and Moravej, H., 2015. Immune system of Honey bee (Apis mellifera). Iranian Honey Bee Science and Technology. 6 (10), 22- 26. (In Persian with English abstract).
Hadley, A. S. and Betts, M. G., 2012. The effects of landscape fragmentation on pollination dynamics: absence of evidence not evidence of absence. Biological Reviews. 87, 526- 544. https://doi: 10.1111/j.1469-185X.2011.00205.x
Hanley, M. E., Franco, M., Dean, C. E., Franklin, E. L., Harris, H. R. and Haynes, A. G., 2011. Increased bumblebee abundance along the margins of a mass flowering crop: evidence for pollinator spill-over. Oikos. 120, 1618– 1624. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2011.19233.x
Hennessy, G., Harris, C., Eaton, C., Wright, P., Jackson, E., Goulson, D. and Ratnieks, F.F., 2020. Gone with the Wind: effects of wind on honey bee visit rate and foraging behaviour. Animal Behaviour. 161, 23- 31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.12.018
Hennessy, G., Harris, C., Pirot, L., Lefter, A., Goulson, D. and Ratnieks, F.L., 2021. Wind slows play: Increasing wind speed reduces flower visiting rate in honey bees. Animal Behaviour, 178, pp.87-93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2021.05.022
Hoehn, P., Tscharntke, T., Tylianakis, J.M. and Steffan-Dewenter, I., 2008. Functional group diversity of bee pollinators increases crop yield. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1648), pp.2283-2291. https:// doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2008.0405.
IPBES., 2016. The assessment report of the intergovernmental sciencepolicy Platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services on pollinators, pollination and food production. Potts, S. G., Imperatriz Fonseca V. L. and H. T. Ngo (eds.). Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Bonn, Germany. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo. 3402856.
Jahantab, E., Sharafatmand, M. and Khosravi Mashizi, A., 2021. Investigating the effect of grazing on the potential of pollination services in Malah Shoreh and Gorgo rangelands of Boyer-Ahmad city. Iranian Journal of Range and Desert Research. 28 (3), 482- 492. (In Persian with English abstract). https://doi.org/10.22092/ijrdr.2021.125013
Karami, P. and Shayesteh, K., 2020. Habitat Suitability Modeling of Wild ‎Sheep (Ovis orientalis) in Markazi ‎Province by using Tree-Based ‎Models. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Animal Biology. 8 (4), 109- 121. (In Persian with English abstract). https://doi.org/10.30473/eab.2019.44348.1683
Karami, P. and Tavakoli, S., 2022. Identification and analysis of areas prone to conflict with wild boar (Sus scrofa) in the vineyards of Malayer County, western Iran. Ecological Modelling. 471, p.110039. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2022.110039
Karami, P., Tavakoli, S. and Esmaeili, M., 2023. Evolution of seasonal land surface temperature trend in pond-breeding newt (Neurergus derjugini) in western Iran and eastern Iraq. Ecological Processes. 12 (1), p.14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13717-023-00426-z
Kennedy, C. M., Lonsdorf, E., Neel, M. C., Williams, N. M., Ricketts, T. H., Winfree, R. and Carvalheiro, L. G., 2013. A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems. Ecology Letters. 16, 584- 599. https://doi: 10.1111/ele.12082
Madahi, Kh., 2017. honey bee and pollination of the product. Iranian Honey Bee Science and Technology. 8 (14), 36- 45. (In Persian with English abstract).
Mallinger, R.E. and Gratton, C., 2015. Species richness of wild bees, but not the use of managed honeybees, increases fruit set of a pollinator-dependent crop. Journal of Applied Ecology. 52, 323e330. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12377.
Marshall, L., Carvalheiro, L.G., Aguirreā€Gutiérrez, J., Bos, M., de Groot, G.A., Kleijn, D., Potts, S.G., Reemer, M., Roberts, S., Scheper, J. and Biesmeijer, J.C., 2015. Testing projected wild bee distributions in agricultural habitats: predictive power depends on species traits and habitat type. Ecology and Evolution. 5 (19), 4426- 4436. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1579
Mokhber, M. and Ghaffari, M., 2018. Economic value of pollination services of honeybee and solutions to conserve apiculture industry. Iranian Honey Bee Science and Technology. 9 (17), 12- 16. (In Persian with English abstract). https://doi.org/10.22092/hbsj.2019.118600
Moradi, M. and Kandemir, I., 2005. Observations on Apis florea" the Dwarf Honey Bee" in Iran. American Bee Journal, 145(6), pp.498-502.
Morovati, M., Karami, P. and Bahadori Amjas, F., 2020. Accessing habitat suitability and connectivity for the westernmost population of Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus, Blanford, 1877) based on climate changes scenarios in Iran. PloS one, 15 (11), p.e0242432. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0242432
Mukundamago, M., Dube, T., Mudereri, B.T., Babin, R., Lattorff, H.M.G. and Tonnang, H.E., 2023. Understanding climate change effects on the potential distribution of an important pollinator species, Ceratina moerenhouti (Apidae: Ceratinini), in the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot, Kenya. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C. 130, p.103387. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pce.2023.103387
Ollerton, J., 2017. Pollinator diversity: distribution, ecological function, and conservation. Annual review of ecology, evolution, and systematics, 48, pp.353-376. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110316-022919
Parichehreh, S., Tahmasbi, G., Sarafrazi, A., Tajabadi, N. and Solhjouy-Fard, S., 2022. Distribution modeling of Apis florea Fabricius (Hymenoptera, Apidae) in different climates of Iran. Journal of Apicultural Research, 61(4), pp.469-480. https://doi.org/10.1080/00218839.2020.1775962
Piri Sahragard, H., Ajorlo, M. and Karami, P., 2021. Landscape structure and suitable habitat analysis for effective restoration planning in semi-arid mountain forests. Ecological Processes. 10, 1- 13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13717-021-00289-2
Polce, C., Termansen, M., Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J., Boatman, N.D., Budge, G.E., Crowe, A., Garratt, M.P., Pietravalle, S., Potts, S.G., Ramirez, J.A. and Somerwill, K.E., 2013. Species distribution models for crop pollination: a modelling framework applied to Great Britain. PloS one. 8 (10), p.e76308. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0076308
Ricketts, T. H., Williams, N. M. and Mayfield, M. M., 2006. Connectivity and ecosystem services: Crop pollination in agricultural landscapes. In Kevin R. Crooks and M. A. Sanjayan (Ed.). Connectivity conservation. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, pp. 255- 289. https://doi:10.1017/CBO9780511754821.012
Robinson, S., Cartar, R., Pernal, S., Waytes, R. and Hoover, Sh., 2023. Bee visitation, pollination service, and crop yield in commodity and hybrid seed canola. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 347 (2023), 1- 11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2023.108396
Ruholamininejad, H., Morovati, M. and Karami, P., 2022. Investigating the Habitat Patches of the Baluchistan Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus gedrosianus), Using Landscape Metrics (Case Study: Bahr Asman and Zaryab Areas, Kerman Province). Iranian Journal of Applied Ecology. 11 (40), 1- 17. (In Farsi). http://dorl.net/dor/20.1001.1.24763128.1401.
Ryalls, J.M., Langford, B., Mullinger, N.J., Bromfield, L.M., Nemitz, E., Pfrang, C. and Girling, R.D., 2022. Anthropogenic air pollutants reduce insect-mediated pollination services. Environmental Pollution. 297, p.118847. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.118847
Shahbazi, A., Matinkhah, S. H. and Khajehali, J., 2015. The role of pollinators and seed predators in the regeneration of Hedysarum criniferum Boiss in Esfahan province. Iranian Journal of Forest and Range Protection Research. 13 (1), 74- 83. (In Persian with English abstract). https://doi.org/10.22092/ijfrpr.2015.102395
Torresani, M., Kleijn, D., Reinier de Vries, J. P., Bartholomeus, H., Chieffallo, L., b , Gatti, R. C., Moudrý, V., Re, D., Tomelleri, E. and Rocchini, D., 2023. A novel approach for surveying flowers as a proxy for bee pollinators using drone images. Ecological Indicators. 149 (2023), 1- 10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2023.110123
Vanbergen, A. J. and Initiative, T. I. P., 2013. Threats to an ecosystem service: pressures on pollinators. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 11 (5), 251- 259. https://doi.org/10.1890/120126
Wietzke, A., Westphal, C., Gras, P., Kraft, M., Pfohl, K., Karlovsky, P., Pawelzik, E., Tscharntke, T. and Smit, I., 2018. Insect pollination as a key factor for strawberry physiology and marketable fruit quality. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 258, pp.197-204. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2018.01.036.
Williams, N.M., Crone, E.E., T’ai, H.R., Minckley, R.L., Packer, L. and Potts, S.G., 2010. Ecological and life-history traits predict bee species responses to environmental disturbances. Biological Conservation, 143(10), pp.2280-2291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2010.03.024.