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Volume 2, Issue 1      January-March, 2014

ASSESSMENT OF RELATIVE ABUNDANCE AND DIVERSITY OF NATIVE INSECT POLLINATORS IN APPLE ORCHARDS OF KASHMIR HIMALAYA
 

Muzaffar Ahmad Ganie1*, Amit Kumar Pal1 and Nazeer Ahmed2
1Institute of Environment and Development Studies, B. U. Jhansi, U.P. India
2Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture, Srinagar, J&K, India

ABSTRACT
A study was made to assess the insect pollinator diversity and abundance in the apple orchards of Kashmir Himalaya. The selection of sites was in important focus so that an average data representative of the whole native insect pollinator diversity and distribution in apple orchards of Kashmir valley can be obtained. The findings of the study revealed that insect pollinators in the apple orchards were in general represented by three orders Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera. At all the locations, the order Hymenoptera was found to represent three families Helictidae, Apidae and Tenthredinidae. A total of 21 species of insect pollinators belonging to 12 families and three orders Hymenoptera, Diptera and Lepidoptera registered their occurrence in different apple orchards of Kashmir valley. Overall, maximum abundance of 479 individuals, i.e. Lasioglossoma himalayense (412) and Lasioglossoma nursie (67) corresponding to a percent family contribution of 49.40% at all the studied apple orchards was registered by family Halictidae and least abundance was documented by the family Nymphalidae (4 individuals) contributed by a single species, Vanessa cashmirensis corresponding to a percent family contribution of 0.41%. Diptera was the most dominant order composing 11 species and as such accounting for 52.81% of total species found followed by Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera each of which registered 5 species corresponding to 23.81% of total species reported. The findings suggest to maintain a natural habitat that is suitable for Lasioglossum and other such dominant native insect pollinators to ensure successful survival of these important native insects in apple orchards which contribute significantly to fruit set especially to apple crop.
Keywords: Insect pollinator, Apple orchards, Kashmir, Himalaya

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