Strawberry fields forever – with Spanish translation

In this post, Associate Editor, Cristina Garcia comments on the effects of pesticides on pollinators and the recent article by Horth & Campbell, Supplementing small farms with native mason bees increases strawberry size and growth rate. Cristina has also provided a Spanish translation of this post. Most plant species, including crops, require mutualistic interactions with animals to pollinate their flowers and fulfill their demographic cycle. The … Continue reading Strawberry fields forever – with Spanish translation

Success of sweat bees on hot chillies in traditional slash-and-burn agriculture – with Spanish translation

In this post Patricia Landaverde-González discusses her recent paper ‘Sweat bees on hot chillies: provision of pollination services by native bees in traditional slash-and-burn agriculture in the Yucatán Peninsula of tropical Mexico‘ Patricia has also provided a Spanish translation of this post to reach out to Spanish readers interested in this topic. Journal of Applied Ecology is dedicated to making papers more accessible for an … Continue reading Success of sweat bees on hot chillies in traditional slash-and-burn agriculture – with Spanish translation

Honeybees and the boom and bust cycle of mass flowering crops

In this post Associate Editor Romina Rader discusses a recent paper she handled from Fabrice Requier and colleagues ‘The carry-over effects of pollen shortage decrease the survival of honeybee colonies in farmlands‘ When we think about pollinators within intensive agricultural systems, mass flowering crops (MFCs) seemingly act as both heroes and villains.  On the upside, many pollinators congregate at local mass flowering crops during the … Continue reading Honeybees and the boom and bust cycle of mass flowering crops

Maintaining diverse bee communities on farmland: the importance of floristic diversity

In this post Thomas Wood discusses his recent paper ‘Providing foraging resources for solitary bees on farmland: current schemes for pollinators benefit a limited suite of species‘ Farmland biodiversity was negatively affected across most European nations throughout the 20th century, predominantly due to a period of rapid agricultural intensification following the Second World War. Flowery hay meadows were ploughed up and herbicides, fertilisers and other … Continue reading Maintaining diverse bee communities on farmland: the importance of floristic diversity

Applying fertilizer? Don’t forget about pollination

In this post Stijn van Gils discusses his paper with Wim van der Putten and David Kleijn. ‘Can above-ground ecosystem services compensate for reduced fertilizer input and soil organic matter in annual crops?’ You can also read this post in Dutch. Farmers often try to increase yield directly through ploughing, and the addition of fertilizers and agro-chemicals. Yield, however, is also affected by ecological interactions, … Continue reading Applying fertilizer? Don’t forget about pollination

Ecological traits shape bee species’ fates in European agriculture

In this post Adriana De Palma discusses her recent paper ‘Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land-use pressures in European agricultural landscapes’. The article is open access courtesy of Imperial College London. For International Women’s Day, we asked Adriana about her career in science and the challenges and improvements she is seeing in STEM. You can read all of our posts for International … Continue reading Ecological traits shape bee species’ fates in European agriculture

Pastures new for pollinators?

In this post Associate Editor Peter Manning discusses the paper he recently handled from Katherine Orford and colleagues ‘Modest enhancements to conventional grassland diversity improve the provision of pollination services‘ You can also read a blog post from Katherine here: Managing ecosystem services: a grassland experiment Pollinator insects have undergone a global decline, and there is evidence that this may be placing both crop production … Continue reading Pastures new for pollinators?

Managing ecosystem services: a grassland experiment

In this post Katherine Orford discusses her recent paper ‘Modest enhancements to conventional grassland diversity improve the provision of pollination services‘ You can also read a blog post from the Associate Editor who handled this paper, Peter Manning here: Pastures new for pollinators? Grassland diversity Species-rich grasslands were once widespread across Western Europe. However, post-war agricultural intensification has resulted in wide-scale conversion of these diverse grasslands … Continue reading Managing ecosystem services: a grassland experiment

Flower strips support ecosystem services only when they have the right flowers

In this post Paul van Rijn discusses his recent paper ‘Nectar accessibility determines fitness, flower choice and abundance of hoverflies that provide natural pest control’ The industrialization of agriculture has strongly impoverished our countryside. The amount and quality of non-crop habitats have declined, and the biodiversity within and among crops has dropped even more. In recent years it has become clear that this not only … Continue reading Flower strips support ecosystem services only when they have the right flowers

Making the most of pollinators to improve and predict crop yields

In this post Lucas Garibaldi discusses his recent Review article ‘Trait matching of flower visitors and crops predicts fruit set better than trait diversity‘ Sustainable management of agroecosystems is a global challenge, with more than 35 % of the Earth’s land area covered by farmland. It has been suggested that species diversity is critical for sustainability because it increases the level and stability of agroecosystem … Continue reading Making the most of pollinators to improve and predict crop yields