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 

Conservando flores conservamos polinizadores?

An English version of this post is available here. La mayoría de los esfuerzos para promover la conservación de polinizadores están enfocados en mantener o incrementar el rango de plantas con flores disponibles para ellos. La razón es simple: las plantas con flores proveen néctar y polen, recursos esenciales para su subsistencia. Sin embargo, los polinizadores dependen de otros recursos que probablemente también determinan su … Continue reading Conservando flores conservamos polinizadores?

Are flowers enough for preserving pollinators?

Research from Buckles and Harmon-Threatt explores how prairie management strategies can affect pollinator communities both directly and indirectly, highlighting why we shouldn’t ignore what’s happening below ground. Associate Editor, Guadalupe Peralta elaborates. A Spanish version of this post is available here. Most efforts to preserve pollinators are focused on maintaining or increasing the range of flowering plants available. The reason behind this is clear: flowers … Continue reading Are flowers enough for preserving pollinators?

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

What’s the meta with bees? Pesticides influence bee learning and memory

Harry Siviter’s article, Quantifying the impact of pesticides on learning and memory, was published yesterday (Wednesday 11th July 2018). Here he explains why policy makers need to consider the effects of agrochemicals on pollinators. Foraging bees have a tough time of it. In social bees, such as bumblebees and honeybees, workers have to forage across large landscapes, collecting nectar and pollen from flowers as they … Continue reading What’s the meta with bees? Pesticides influence bee learning and memory

Bumblebees are frequent flyers – what are the impacts?

Addressing pollinator introduction policy and the effects introduced species can have on local ecosystems, Romina Rader, Manu Saunders and Tobias Smith discuss the recent Policy Direction, Coordinated species importation policies are needed to reduce serious invasions globally: The case of alien bumblebees in South America by Aizen et al. Bumblebees (Bombus spp.) are large, iconic pollinators of many wild flowers and crops.  Their ability to … Continue reading Bumblebees are frequent flyers – what are the impacts?

Ensuring sustainable açaí fruit production in the Amazon river delta

With açaí fruit becoming increasingly popular, it is important to understand how farming management practices are affecting vital pollination services. Associate Editor, Ainhoa Magrach comments on the recent article, Anthropogenic disturbance of tropical forests threatens pollination services to açaí palm in the Amazon river delta by Campbell et al. Worldwide the demand for the berries of the açaí palm is increasing. These anti-oxidant rich foods have … Continue reading Ensuring sustainable açaí fruit production in the Amazon river delta

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