Sustainable Pollination Services for UK Crops
Insect pollinators are a fundamental component of global ecosystems but they are also crucially important for food production. Pollinators improve the yield and quality of over 75% of crop species and contribute over $361 Billion to global agriculture. In the face of continued environmental change and potential pollinator decline it is essential to understand what contribution pollinators make to crop production, what impact any declines may have; and how pollination services might be managed effectively for improved food security. Here we present findings from the UK wide Insect Pollinators Initiative: Sustainable Pollination Services for UK Crops Project. This project involved researching sustainable pollination in multiple crops including top fruit, soft fruit and field crops. We identified which pollinators were important for production, measured pollination deficits, investigated what factors impacted on pollinator populations and the pollination service they provide, and tested potential pollinator management strategies. Our research has improved our understanding of the value of crop pollinators and how they might be managed to maintain robust pollination services in the UK and Europe in the face of future environmental change.
Published June 2, 2015 1:12 PM