The dataset contains information on the species identity and frequency of all insect-flower interactions recorded in 10 birch (Betula spp.) woodland fragments surveyed in 2009 (May-August). The data were collected in two transects (50 x 2m; 15m apart and at least 50m from the woodland edge) randomly situated prior to the onset of flowering in the centre of each wood. Five of the woodland sites were disturbed by cattle grazing, while five were undisturbed. Landowners confirmed that livestock had been absent for at least 70-100 years in undisturbed sites. Where livestock were present, cattle grazing was light to moderate (e.g. 2007: mean = 8.4 cattle ha-1) and long term (mean = 33 years). The dataset comprises 13 columns, 2002 rows and is 218 KB. It gives the site name, geographic coordinates, whether it was disturbed by cattle grazing or not, the wind speed and temperature at time of sampling, the date of sampling, and the identity of the insect and plants interacting (binomial name or recognisable taxonomic unit).

Publication date: 2016-11-03

Get the data

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Vanbergen, A.J. (2016). Insect-Flower Networks. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


© UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology


Study area
Temporal extent
2009-05-20    to    2009-07-28

Provenance & quality

From 20/5/2009 to 27/8/2009, the authors quantified insect visitation to flowering plants in 10 birch dominated woods either grazed or ungrazed by cattle. Insect specimens were collected along two standardised transects (50 x 2m; 15m apart) The species identity and frequency of all insect-flower interactions was recorded. Insect flower visitors were collected (netting/pooter/direct capture with vial) in situ and killed with ethyl acetate prior to transport to the laboratory at CEH. Once there specimens were identified under microscope and assigned to a binomial species (wherever possible) by CEH staff following standard keys or where binomial species identification proved impractical (taxonomically difficult groups or damaged specimens) they were assigned to a recognisable taxonomic unit (RTU). The identity and count of each insect specimen were entered directly into an Excel spreadsheet, data were checked for typographic errors by the lead investigator, and then data were aggregated to insect species by field site levels using 'pivot table' function in Excel to create a flat table. This dataset was then formatted to '.csv', metadata provided and archived in EIDC.


Vanbergen, A. J., Woodcock, B. A., Heard, M. S. and Chapman, D. S. (2017), Network size, structure and mutualism dependence affect the propensity for plant-pollinator extinction cascades. Funct Ecol, 31: 1285-1293

Supplemental information

Vanbergen, A. J., Woodcock, B. A., Gray, A., Grant, F., Telford, A., Lambdon, P., Chapman, D. S., Pywell, R. F., Heard, M. S. and Cavers, S. (2014), Grazing alters insect visitation networks and plant mating systems. Funct Ecol, 28: 178-189

Correspondence/contact details

Dr Adam J. Vanbergen
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bush Estate
EH26 0QB


Vanbergen, A.J.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

NERC EDS Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Agriculture Biodiversity Ecosystem services Environmental survey Land use Pollinators
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
WGS 84
Last updated
20 May 2022 10:40