Sustainable Pollination Services for UK Crops



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FERA

Determine the contribution of wild and managed pollinators to crop pollination

It is important to know which insect pollinators are carrying out crop pollination in the UK so crop pollination services can be managed in the future. It is essential to understand whether adequate pollination services are being provided by wild and managed pollinators or if yield and quality is limited. Using working farms growing 4 important crops, oilseed, apples, strawberries and field beans, we will carry out fieldwork to answer the following questions:
1. Which insects pollinate our 4 focal crops?
2. How important are insects for the yield and quality of our crops?
3. How does local landscape affect insect pollinator communities and the pollination service they provide?

Fieldwork will involve crop pollinator surveys during flowering on each of our crops. We will also carry out manipulations of crop plants using exclusion bags and hand pollination techniques to measure pollination service. Detailed landscape surveys will be done to establish a link between local land use and pollination services.

Results will improve our understanding of which insects are important for pollinating crops in the UK and how they are influenced by the local landscape. This will enable better landscape management to improve pollination services and data will also feed into other elements of the Sustainable Pollination Services for UK Crops project so landscape scale pollination deficits can be modelled.


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