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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators.
Proc. Biol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 05-23-2014
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There is evidence that in Europe and North America many species of pollinators are in decline, both in abundance and distribution. Although there is a long list of potential causes of this decline, there is concern that neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular through their use as seed treatments are, at least in part, responsible. This paper describes a project that set out to summarize the natural science evidence base relevant to neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators in as policy-neutral terms as possible. A series of evidence statements are listed and categorized according to the nature of the underlying information. The evidence summary forms the appendix to this paper and an annotated bibliography is provided in the electronic supplementary material.
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Density of insect-pollinated grassland plants decreases with increasing surrounding land-use intensity.
Ecol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2014
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Pollinator declines have raised concerns about the persistence of plant species that depend on insect pollination, in particular by bees, for their reproduction. The impact of pollinator declines remains unknown for species-rich plant communities found in temperate seminatural grasslands. We investigated effects of land-use intensity in the surrounding landscape on the distribution of plant traits related to insect pollination in 239 European seminatural grasslands. Increasing arable land use in the surrounding landscape consistently reduced the density of plants depending on bee and insect pollination. Similarly, the relative abundance of bee-pollination-dependent plants increased with higher proportions of non-arable agricultural land (e.g. permanent grassland). This was paralleled by an overall increase in bee abundance and diversity. By isolating the impact of the surrounding landscape from effects of local habitat quality, we show for the first time that grassland plants dependent on insect pollination are particularly susceptible to increasing land-use intensity in the landscape.
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Climate-driven spatial mismatches between British orchards and their pollinators: increased risks of pollination deficits.
Glob Chang Biol
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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Understanding how climate change can affect crop-pollinator systems helps predict potential geographical mismatches between a crop and its pollinators, and therefore identify areas vulnerable to loss of pollination services. We examined the distribution of orchard species (apples, pears, plums and other top fruits) and their pollinators in Great Britain, for present and future climatic conditions projected for 2050 under the SRES A1B Emissions Scenario. We used a relative index of pollinator availability as a proxy for pollination service. At present, there is a large spatial overlap between orchards and their pollinators, but predictions for 2050 revealed that the most suitable areas for orchards corresponded to low pollinator availability. However, we found that pollinator availability may persist in areas currently used for fruit production, which are predicted to provide suboptimal environmental suitability for orchard species in the future. Our results may be used to identify mitigation options to safeguard orchard production against the risk of pollination failure in Great Britain over the next 50 years; for instance, choosing fruit tree varieties that are adapted to future climatic conditions, or boosting wild pollinators through improving landscape resources. Our approach can be readily applied to other regions and crop systems, and expanded to include different climatic scenarios.
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Distance from forest edge affects bee pollinators in oilseed rape fields.
Ecol Evol
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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Wild pollinators have been shown to enhance the pollination of Brassica napus (oilseed rape) and thus increase its market value. Several studies have previously shown that pollination services are greater in crops adjoining forest patches or other seminatural habitats than in crops completely surrounded by other crops. In this study, we investigated the specific importance of forest edges in providing potential pollinators in B.?napus fields in two areas in France. Bees were caught with yellow pan traps at increasing distances from both warm and cold forest edges into B.?napus fields during the blooming period. A total of 4594 individual bees, representing six families and 83 taxa, were collected. We found that both bee abundance and taxa richness were negatively affected by the distance from forest edge. However, responses varied between bee groups and edge orientations. The ITD (Inter-Tegular distance) of the species, a good proxy for bee foraging range, seems to limit how far the bees can travel from the forest edge. We found a greater abundance of cuckoo bees (Nomada spp.) of Andrena spp. and Andrena spp. males at forest edges, which we assume indicate suitable nesting sites, or at least mating sites, for some abundant Andrena species and their parasites (Fig.?1). Synthesis and Applications. This study provides one of the first examples in temperate ecosystems of how forest edges may actually act as a reservoir of potential pollinators and directly benefit agricultural crops by providing nesting or mating sites for important early spring pollinators. Policy-makers and land managers should take forest edges into account and encourage their protection in the agricultural matrix to promote wild bees and their pollination services.
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Impact of chronic neonicotinoid exposure on honeybee colony performance and queen supersedure.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Honeybees provide economically and ecologically vital pollination services to crops and wild plants. During the last decade elevated colony losses have been documented in Europe and North America. Despite growing consensus on the involvement of multiple causal factors, the underlying interactions impacting on honeybee health and colony failure are not fully resolved. Parasites and pathogens are among the main candidates, but sublethal exposure to widespread agricultural pesticides may also affect bees.
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Contribution of insect pollinators to crop yield and quality varies with agricultural intensification.
PeerJ
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Background. Up to 75% of crop species benefit at least to some degree from animal pollination for fruit or seed set and yield. However, basic information on the level of pollinator dependence and pollinator contribution to yield is lacking for many crops. Even less is known about how insect pollination affects crop quality. Given that habitat loss and agricultural intensification are known to decrease pollinator richness and abundance, there is a need to assess the consequences for different components of crop production. Methods. We used pollination exclusion on flowers or inflorescences on a whole plant basis to assess the contribution of insect pollination to crop yield and quality in four flowering crops (spring oilseed rape, field bean, strawberry, and buckwheat) located in four regions of Europe. For each crop, we recorded abundance and species richness of flower visiting insects in ten fields located along a gradient from simple to heterogeneous landscapes. Results. Insect pollination enhanced average crop yield between 18 and 71% depending on the crop. Yield quality was also enhanced in most crops. For instance, oilseed rape had higher oil and lower chlorophyll contents when adequately pollinated, the proportion of empty seeds decreased in buckwheat, and strawberries' commercial grade improved; however, we did not find higher nitrogen content in open pollinated field beans. Complex landscapes had a higher overall species richness of wild pollinators across crops, but visitation rates were only higher in complex landscapes for some crops. On the contrary, the overall yield was consistently enhanced by higher visitation rates, but not by higher pollinator richness. Discussion. For the four crops in this study, there is clear benefit delivered by pollinators on yield quantity and/or quality, but it is not maximized under current agricultural intensification. Honeybees, the most abundant pollinator, might partially compensate the loss of wild pollinators in some areas, but our results suggest the need of landscape-scale actions to enhance wild pollinator populations.
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Agricultural policies exacerbate honeybee pollination service supply-demand mismatches across Europe.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Declines in insect pollinators across Europe have raised concerns about the supply of pollination services to agriculture. Simultaneously, EU agricultural and biofuel policies have encouraged substantial growth in the cultivated area of insect pollinated crops across the continent. Using data from 41 European countries, this study demonstrates that the recommended number of honeybees required to provide crop pollination across Europe has risen 4.9 times as fast as honeybee stocks between 2005 and 2010. Consequently, honeybee stocks were insufficient to supply >90% of demands in 22 countries studied. These findings raise concerns about the capacity of many countries to cope with major losses of wild pollinators and highlight numerous critical gaps in current understanding of pollination service supplies and demands, pointing to a pressing need for further research into this issue.
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Comparison of pollinators and natural enemies: a meta-analysis of landscape and local effects on abundance and richness in crops.
Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2013
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To manage agroecosystems for multiple ecosystem services, we need to know whether the management of one service has positive, negative, or no effects on other services. We do not yet have data on the interactions between pollination and pest-control services. However, we do have data on the distributions of pollinators and natural enemies in agroecosystems. Therefore, we compared these two groups of ecosystem service providers, to see if the management of farms and agricultural landscapes might have similar effects on the abundance and richness of both. In a meta-analysis, we compared 46 studies that sampled bees, predatory beetles, parasitic wasps, and spiders in fields, orchards, or vineyards of food crops. These studies used the proximity or proportion of non-crop or natural habitats in the landscapes surrounding these crops (a measure of landscape complexity), or the proximity or diversity of non-crop plants in the margins of these crops (a measure of local complexity), to explain the abundance or richness of these beneficial arthropods. Compositional complexity at both landscape and local scales had positive effects on both pollinators and natural enemies, but different effects on different taxa. Effects on bees and spiders were significantly positive, but effects on parasitoids and predatory beetles (mostly Carabidae and Staphylinidae) were inconclusive. Landscape complexity had significantly stronger effects on bees than it did on predatory beetles and significantly stronger effects in non-woody rather than in woody crops. Effects on richness were significantly stronger than effects on abundance, but possibly only for spiders. This abundance-richness difference might be caused by differences between generalists and specialists, or between arthropods that depend on non-crop habitats (ecotone species and dispersers) and those that do not (cultural species). We call this the specialist-generalist or cultural difference mechanism. If complexity has stronger effects on richness than abundance, it might have stronger effects on the stability than the magnitude of these arthropod-mediated ecosystem services. We conclude that some pollinators and natural enemies seem to have compatible responses to complexity, and it might be possible to manage agroecosystems for the benefit of both. However, too few studies have compared the two, and so we cannot yet conclude that there are no negative interactions between pollinators and natural enemies, and no trade-offs between pollination and pest-control services. Therefore, we suggest a framework for future research to bridge these gaps in our knowledge.
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Enhanced biodiversity and pollination in UK agroforestry systems.
J. Sci. Food Agric.
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2013
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Monoculture farming systems have had serious environmental impacts such as loss of biodiversity and pollinator decline. The authors explain how temperate agroforestry systems show potential in being able to deliver multiple environmental benefits.
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Wild pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey bee abundance.
Science
PUBLISHED: 02-28-2013
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The diversity and abundance of wild insect pollinators have declined in many agricultural landscapes. Whether such declines reduce crop yields, or are mitigated by managed pollinators such as honey bees, is unclear. We found universally positive associations of fruit set with flower visitation by wild insects in 41 crop systems worldwide. In contrast, fruit set increased significantly with flower visitation by honey bees in only 14% of the systems surveyed. Overall, wild insects pollinated crops more effectively; an increase in wild insect visitation enhanced fruit set by twice as much as an equivalent increase in honey bee visitation. Visitation by wild insects and honey bees promoted fruit set independently, so pollination by managed honey bees supplemented, rather than substituted for, pollination by wild insects. Our results suggest that new practices for integrated management of both honey bees and diverse wild insect assemblages will enhance global crop yields.
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Species richness declines and biotic homogenisation have slowed down for NW-European pollinators and plants.
Ecol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 02-14-2013
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Concern about biodiversity loss has led to increased public investment in conservation. Whereas there is a widespread perception that such initiatives have been unsuccessful, there are few quantitative tests of this perception. Here, we evaluate whether rates of biodiversity change have altered in recent decades in three European countries (Great Britain, Netherlands and Belgium) for plants and flower visiting insects. We compared four 20-year periods, comparing periods of rapid land-use intensification and natural habitat loss (1930-1990) with a period of increased conservation investment (post-1990). We found that extensive species richness loss and biotic homogenisation occurred before 1990, whereas these negative trends became substantially less accentuated during recent decades, being partially reversed for certain taxa (e.g. bees in Great Britain and Netherlands). These results highlight the potential to maintain or even restore current species assemblages (which despite past extinctions are still of great conservation value), at least in regions where large-scale land-use intensification and natural habitat loss has ceased.
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Environmental factors driving the effectiveness of European agri-environmental measures in mitigating pollinator loss--a meta-analysis.
Ecol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2013
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In Europe, agri-environmental schemes (AES) have been introduced in response to concerns about farmland biodiversity declines. Yet, as AES have delivered variable results, a better understanding of what determines their success or failure is urgently needed. Focusing on pollinating insects, we quantitatively reviewed how environmental factors affect the effectiveness of AES. Our results suggest that the ecological contrast in floral resources created by schemes drives the response of pollinators to AES but that this response is moderated by landscape context and farmland type, with more positive responses in croplands (vs. grasslands) located in simple (vs. cleared or complex) landscapes. These findings inform us how to promote pollinators and associated pollination services in species-poor landscapes. They do not, however, present viable strategies to mitigate loss of threatened or endangered species. This indicates that the objectives and design of AES should distinguish more clearly between biodiversity conservation and delivery of ecosystem services.
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Combined effects of global change pressures on animal-mediated pollination.
Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.)
PUBLISHED: 01-18-2013
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Pollination is an essential process in the sexual reproduction of seed plants and a key ecosystem service to human welfare. Animal pollinators decline as a consequence of five major global change pressures: climate change, landscape alteration, agricultural intensification, non-native species, and spread of pathogens. These pressures, which differ in their biotic or abiotic nature and their spatiotemporal scales, can interact in nonadditive ways (synergistically or antagonistically), but are rarely considered together in studies of pollinator and/or pollination decline. Management actions aimed at buffering the impacts of a particular pressure could thereby prove ineffective if another pressure is present. Here, we focus on empirical evidence of the combined effects of global change pressures on pollination, highlighting gaps in current knowledge and future research needs.
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A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems.
Ecol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2013
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Bees provide essential pollination services that are potentially affected both by local farm management and the surrounding landscape. To better understand these different factors, we modelled the relative effects of landscape composition (nesting and floral resources within foraging distances), landscape configuration (patch shape, interpatch connectivity and habitat aggregation) and farm management (organic vs. conventional and local-scale field diversity), and their interactions, on wild bee abundance and richness for 39 crop systems globally. Bee abundance and richness were higher in diversified and organic fields and in landscapes comprising more high-quality habitats; bee richness on conventional fields with low diversity benefited most from high-quality surrounding land cover. Landscape configuration effects were weak. Bee responses varied slightly by biome. Our synthesis reveals that pollinator persistence will depend on both the maintenance of high-quality habitats around farms and on local management practices that may offset impacts of intensive monoculture agriculture.
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Species distribution models for crop pollination: a modelling framework applied to Great Britain.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Insect pollination benefits over three quarters of the worlds major crops. There is growing concern that observed declines in pollinators may impact on production and revenues from animal pollinated crops. Knowing the distribution of pollinators is therefore crucial for estimating their availability to pollinate crops; however, in general, we have an incomplete knowledge of where these pollinators occur. We propose a method to predict geographical patterns of pollination service to crops, novel in two elements: the use of pollinator records rather than expert knowledge to predict pollinator occurrence, and the inclusion of the managed pollinator supply. We integrated a maximum entropy species distribution model (SDM) with an existing pollination service model (PSM) to derive the availability of pollinators for crop pollination. We used nation-wide records of wild and managed pollinators (honey bees) as well as agricultural data from Great Britain. We first calibrated the SDM on a representative sample of bee and hoverfly crop pollinator species, evaluating the effects of different settings on model performance and on its capacity to identify the most important predictors. The importance of the different predictors was better resolved by SDM derived from simpler functions, with consistent results for bees and hoverflies. We then used the species distributions from the calibrated model to predict pollination service of wild and managed pollinators, using field beans as a test case. The PSM allowed us to spatially characterize the contribution of wild and managed pollinators and also identify areas potentially vulnerable to low pollination service provision, which can help direct local scale interventions. This approach can be extended to investigate geographical mismatches between crop pollination demand and the availability of pollinators, resulting from environmental change or policy scenarios.
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Stability of pollination services decreases with isolation from natural areas despite honey bee visits.
Ecol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 08-02-2011
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Sustainable agricultural landscapes by definition provide high magnitude and stability of ecosystem services, biodiversity and crop productivity. However, few studies have considered landscape effects on the stability of ecosystem services. We tested whether isolation from florally diverse natural and semi-natural areas reduces the spatial and temporal stability of flower-visitor richness and pollination services in crop fields. We synthesised data from 29 studies with contrasting biomes, crop species and pollinator communities. Stability of flower-visitor richness, visitation rate (all insects except honey bees) and fruit set all decreased with distance from natural areas. At 1 km from adjacent natural areas, spatial stability decreased by 25, 16 and 9% for richness, visitation and fruit set, respectively, while temporal stability decreased by 39% for richness and 13% for visitation. Mean richness, visitation and fruit set also decreased with isolation, by 34, 27 and 16% at 1 km respectively. In contrast, honey bee visitation did not change with isolation and represented > 25% of crop visits in 21 studies. Therefore, wild pollinators are relevant for crop productivity and stability even when honey bees are abundant. Policies to preserve and restore natural areas in agricultural landscapes should enhance levels and reliability of pollination services.
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Quantifying the impact and relevance of scientific research.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 07-27-2011
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Qualitative and quantitative methods are being developed to measure the impacts of research on society, but they suffer from serious drawbacks associated with linking a piece of research to its subsequent impacts. We have developed a method to derive impact scores for individual research publications according to their contribution to answering questions of quantified importance to end users of research. To demonstrate the approach, here we evaluate the impacts of research into means of conserving wild bee populations in the UK. For published papers, there is a weak positive correlation between our impact score and the impact factor of the journal. The process identifies publications that provide high quality evidence relating to issues of strong concern. It can also be used to set future research agendas.
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Investigating the phytotoxicity of the graminicide fluazifop-P-butyl against native UK wildflower species.
Pest Manag. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 06-16-2011
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The selective graminicide fluazifop-P-butyl is used for the control of grass weeds in dicotyledonous crops, and commonly applied in amenity areas to reduce grass productivity and promote wildflower establishment. However, evidence suggests that fluazifop-P-butyl might also have phytotoxic effects on some non-target plants. This study investigates the effects of fluazifop-P-butyl on the emergence, phytotoxicity and above-ground biomass of nine perennial wildflower species and two grass species, following pre- and post-emergent applications at half, full and double label rates in a series of glasshouse experiments.
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Enhancing habitat to help the plight of the bumblebee.
Pest Manag. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2011
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Modern farming has caused considerable declines in UK bumblebee populations, and, while options exist for farmers to increase the quantity of bee-friendly habitat, uptake has been low. Robin Blake explains how existing habitats on farms could be enhanced for the benefit of bumblebees.
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A novel method for assessing risks to pollinators from plant protection products using honeybees as a model species.
Ecotoxicology
PUBLISHED: 07-07-2010
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Pollination is one of the most important ecosystem services in agroecosystems and supports food production. Pollinators are potentially at risk being exposed to pesticides and the main route of exposure is direct contact, in some cases ingestion, of contaminated materials such as pollen, nectar, flowers and foliage. To date there are no suitable methods for predicting pesticide exposure for pollinators, therefore official procedures to assess pesticide risk are based on a Hazard Quotient. Here we develop a procedure to assess exposure and risk for pollinators based on the foraging behaviour of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and using this species as indicator representative of pollinating insects. The method was applied in 13 European field sites with different climatic, landscape and land use characteristics. The level of risk during the crop growing season was evaluated as a function of the active ingredients used and application regime. Risk levels were primarily determined by the agronomic practices employed (i.e. crop type, pest control method, pesticide use), and there was a clear temporal partitioning of risks through time. Generally the risk was higher in sites cultivated with permanent crops, such as vineyard and olive, than in annual crops, such as cereals and oil seed rape. The greatest level of risk is generally found at the beginning of the growing season for annual crops and later in June-July for permanent crops.
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Dispersal capacity and diet breadth modify the response of wild bees to habitat loss.
Proc. Biol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 03-10-2010
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Habitat loss poses a major threat to biodiversity, and species-specific extinction risks are inextricably linked to life-history characteristics. This relationship is still poorly documented for many functionally important taxa, and at larger continental scales. With data from five replicated field studies from three countries, we examined how species richness of wild bees varies with habitat patch size. We hypothesized that the form of this relationship is affected by body size, degree of host plant specialization and sociality. Across all species, we found a positive species-area slope (z = 0.19), and species traits modified this relationship. Large-bodied generalists had a lower z value than small generalists. Contrary to predictions, small specialists had similar or slightly lower z value compared with large specialists, and small generalists also tended to be more strongly affected by habitat loss as compared with small specialists. Social bees were negatively affected by habitat loss (z = 0.11) irrespective of body size. We conclude that habitat loss leads to clear shifts in the species composition of wild bee communities.
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Multiple stressors on biotic interactions: how climate change and alien species interact to affect pollination.
Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2010
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Global change may substantially affect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning but little is known about its effects on essential biotic interactions. Since different environmental drivers rarely act in isolation it is important to consider interactive effects. Here, we focus on how two key drivers of anthropogenic environmental change, climate change and the introduction of alien species, affect plant-pollinator interactions. Based on a literature survey we identify climatically sensitive aspects of species interactions, assess potential effects of climate change on these mechanisms, and derive hypotheses that may form the basis of future research. We find that both climate change and alien species will ultimately lead to the creation of novel communities. In these communities certain interactions may no longer occur while there will also be potential for the emergence of new relationships. Alien species can both partly compensate for the often negative effects of climate change but also amplify them in some cases. Since potential positive effects are often restricted to generalist interactions among species, climate change and alien species in combination can result in significant threats to more specialist interactions involving native species.
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Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers.
Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.)
PUBLISHED: 01-12-2010
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Pollinators are a key component of global biodiversity, providing vital ecosystem services to crops and wild plants. There is clear evidence of recent declines in both wild and domesticated pollinators, and parallel declines in the plants that rely upon them. Here we describe the nature and extent of reported declines, and review the potential drivers of pollinator loss, including habitat loss and fragmentation, agrochemicals, pathogens, alien species, climate change and the interactions between them. Pollinator declines can result in loss of pollination services which have important negative ecological and economic impacts that could significantly affect the maintenance of wild plant diversity, wider ecosystem stability, crop production, food security and human welfare.
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A framework for comparing pollinator performance: effectiveness and efficiency.
Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc
PUBLISHED: 12-09-2009
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Measuring pollinator performance has become increasingly important with emerging needs for risk assessment in conservation and sustainable agriculture that require multi-year and multi-site comparisons across studies. However, comparing pollinator performance across studies is difficult because of the diversity of concepts and disparate methods in use. Our review of the literature shows many unresolved ambiguities. Two different assessment concepts predominate: the first estimates stigmatic pollen deposition and the underlying pollinator behaviour parameters, while the second estimates the pollinators contribution to plant reproductive success, for example in terms of seed set. Both concepts include a number of parameters combined in diverse ways and named under a diversity of synonyms and homonyms. However, these concepts are overlapping because pollen deposition success is the most frequently used proxy for assessing the pollinators contribution to plant reproductive success. We analyse the diverse concepts and methods in the context of a new proposed conceptual framework with a modular approach based on pollen deposition, visit frequency, and contribution to seed set relative to the plants maximum female reproductive potential. A system of equations is proposed to optimize the balance between idealised theoretical concepts and practical operational methods. Our framework permits comparisons over a range of floral phenotypes, and spatial and temporal scales, because scaling up is based on the same fundamental unit of analysis, the single visit.
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Taxonomical vs. functional responses of bee communities to fire in two contrasting climatic regions.
J Anim Ecol
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2009
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1. Valuable insights into mechanisms of community responses to environmental change can be gained by analysing in tandem the variation in functional and taxonomic composition along environmental gradients. 2. We assess the changes in species and functional trait composition (i.e. dominant traits and functional diversity) of diverse bee communities in contrasting fire-driven systems in two climatic regions: Mediterranean (scrub habitats in Israel) and temperate (chestnut forests in southern Switzerland). 3. In both climatic regions, there were shifts in species diversity and composition related to post-fire age. In the temperate region, functional composition responded markedly to fire; however, in the Mediterranean, the taxonomic response to fire was not matched by functional replacement. 4. These results suggest that greater functional stability to fire in the Mediterranean is achieved by replacement of functionally similar species (i.e. functional redundancy) which dominate under different environmental conditions in the heterogeneous landscapes of the region. In contrast, the greater functional response in the temperate region was attributed to a more rapid post-fire vegetation recovery and shorter time-window when favourable habitat was available relative to the Mediterranean. 5. Bee traits can be used to predict the functional responses of bee communities to environmental changes in habitats of conservation importance in different regions with distinct disturbance regimes. However, predictions cannot be generalized from one climatic region to another where distinct habitat configurations occur.
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Detecting insect pollinator declines on regional and global scales.
Conserv. Biol.
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Recently there has been considerable concern about declines in bee communities in agricultural and natural habitats. The value of pollination to agriculture, provided primarily by bees, is >$200 billion/year worldwide, and in natural ecosystems it is thought to be even greater. However, no monitoring program exists to accurately detect declines in abundance of insect pollinators; thus, it is difficult to quantify the status of bee communities or estimate the extent of declines. We used data from 11 multiyear studies of bee communities to devise a program to monitor pollinators at regional, national, or international scales. In these studies, 7 different methods for sampling bees were used and bees were sampled on 3 different continents. We estimated that a monitoring program with 200-250 sampling locations each sampled twice over 5 years would provide sufficient power to detect small (2-5%) annual declines in the number of species and in total abundance and would cost U.S.$2,000,000. To detect declines as small as 1% annually over the same period would require >300 sampling locations. Given the role of pollinators in food security and ecosystem function, we recommend establishment of integrated regional and international monitoring programs to detect changes in pollinator communities.
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Ecological intensification: harnessing ecosystem services for food security.
Trends Ecol. Evol. (Amst.)
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Rising demands for agricultural products will increase pressure to further intensify crop production, while negative environmental impacts have to be minimized. Ecological intensification entails the environmentally friendly replacement of anthropogenic inputs and/or enhancement of crop productivity, by including regulating and supporting ecosystem services management in agricultural practices. Effective ecological intensification requires an understanding of the relations between land use at different scales and the community composition of ecosystem service-providing organisms above and below ground, and the flow, stability, contribution to yield, and management costs of the multiple services delivered by these organisms. Research efforts and investments are particularly needed to reduce existing yield gaps by integrating context-appropriate bundles of ecosystem services into crop production systems.
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Altitude acts as an environmental filter on phylogenetic composition, traits and diversity in bee communities.
Proc. Biol. Sci.
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Knowledge about the phylogeny and ecology of communities along environmental gradients helps to disentangle the role of competition-driven processes and environmental filtering for community assembly. In this study, we evaluated patterns in species richness, phylogenetic structure and life-history traits of bee communities along altitudinal gradients in the Alps, Germany. We found a linear decline in species richness and abundance but increasing phylogenetic clustering in communities with increasing altitude. The proportion of social- and ground-nesting species, as well as mean body size and altitudinal range of bee communities, increased with increasing altitude, whereas the mean geographical distribution decreased. Our results suggest that community assembly at high altitudes is dominated by environmental filtering effects, whereas the relative importance of competition increases at low altitudes. We conclude that inherent phylogenetic and ecological species attributes at high altitudes pose a threat for less competitive alpine specialists with ongoing climate change.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

How does it work?

We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...

In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.