Semi-natural grassland strips promote agricultural biodiversity depending on species characteristics

New research by Maas and colleagues shows how the interplay between species-specific traits, functions, and services can inform more targeted, sustainable management of agricultural biodiversity. Agricultural biodiversity is declining worldwide, and its conservation does not work through one-size-fits-all solutions. Species respond differently to agricultural developments and new management measures, depending on their individual characteristics – which has major implications for the management of species-specific functions … Continue reading Semi-natural grassland strips promote agricultural biodiversity depending on species characteristics

What limits bumblebee populations on farmland?

A new study by Timberlake and colleagues finds that late summer nectar supply on farmland has an important influence on bumblebee colony density the following year – does this offer an opportunity to devise more targeted agri-environment schemes for pollinators? Pollen and nectar are the primary food source for most adult pollinators, and in the case of bees, their larvae too. It is no surprise … Continue reading What limits bumblebee populations on farmland?

Infographic: Pollinator monitoring more than pays for itself

New research from Breeze and colleagues demonstrates that a well-designed monitoring scheme provides  excellent value for money, compared with traditional research funding models, and could help save species and protect UK food security. This infographic provides an overview of their work. ‘Our findings demonstrate that long‐term systematic monitoring can be a cost‐effective tool for both answering key research questions and setting action points for policymakers. … Continue reading Infographic: Pollinator monitoring more than pays for itself

Biodiversity in West African parklands promotes pollination of shea

With demand on shea parklands increasing, Aoife Delaney and colleagues explore the pollination services to shea and how we can better support this resource of both ecological and economic importance. Their new research was recently published in Journal of Applied Ecology. Shea parklands occupy over 1 million km2 in the Sudano-Sahelian semi-arid zone of sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal in the west to Uganda in the … Continue reading Biodiversity in West African parklands promotes pollination of shea

Editor’s Choice 57:03 – The economic implications of pollination by bats

For our March Editor’s Choice, Michael Pocock (Associate Editor) highlights the importance of recent research by Tremlett et al into pollination by bats and the value this brings to communities in Mexico. The slideshow above of images by César Guzmánr shows the journey of the pitaya fruit, for which bats are of key importance, from growth to market. One of the reoccurring themes in applied … Continue reading Editor’s Choice 57:03 – The economic implications of pollination by bats

Loss of bumblebees is a loss to farmers 

New research by Néstor Pérez‐Méndez et al. highlights the economic implications of declining pollinator species. Here the authors summarise their work. Recent expansion and intensification of agriculture to meet growing food demands is among the main drivers of the alarming loss of insect diversity worldwide. This decline can lead to a marked degradation of the ecosystem services that insects provide, such as pollination or regulation of crop … Continue reading Loss of bumblebees is a loss to farmers 

Why bats matter when it comes to pollination

In their recently published article, Tremlett et al. call for greater management focus for wild bat pollinator populations due to the ecosystem services they provide for valuable crops. Here they share a video of bat feeding in action and explain a little more about their work. *Update March 2020. The corresponding article to this video features as the Editor’s Choice for issue 57:03. Read Associate … Continue reading Why bats matter when it comes to pollination

Protecting pollinators through better road verge management

In their recent study, Ben Phillips and colleagues reveal the importance of road verges as habitats for pollinators, as well as the negative impacts of current management actions. But how can we improve the situation? Most of us spend a good part of our days travelling on roads. The remains of the animals that stare back at us from the asphalt – the victims of … Continue reading Protecting pollinators through better road verge management

Mind the gap: why flower timing matters to farmland pollinators

A new study by Thomas Timberlake et al. reveals seasonal ‘hunger gaps’ in farmland nectar supplies, which could be limiting pollinator populations. But does this offer an opportunity to devise more targeted and cost-effective conservation and agri-environment schemes for pollinators? Nectar and pollen are crucial resources which give bees and other pollinators the energy and protein they need to fly around, reproduce and maintain their … Continue reading Mind the gap: why flower timing matters to farmland pollinators

Horse grazing restores plant diversity and pollinator habitat use

Associate Editor, Meredith Root-Bernstein discusses the short-term effects of rewilding projects and the recently published paper, Experimental rewilding enhances grassland functional composition and pollinator habitat use by Garrido et al. Rewilding has attracted attention as an emerging approach to nature conservation in areas where large animals and their ecosystem functions are missing. In Europe, ecological processes carried out by large herbivores may have been significantly … Continue reading Horse grazing restores plant diversity and pollinator habitat use