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Review of evidence base for pollinators - PH0514

The review will consider how key pressures (e.g. land-use, disease) affect pollination services to crop (including cultivar) and wild plant species by altering pollinator populations and communities. The review will summarise the evidence (or gaps in knowledge) for how changes to pollinators (e.g. abundance, diversity, complementarity, redundancy, range shifts, phenology) may limit pollination services.

The ecological and economic impacts will be considered with a focus on the main groups (bees and flies) involved in pollination services encompassing both managed (honey bees & bumblebees) and wild pollinators. Throughout the review how local context (e.g. geographic region, landscape type) affects pollination services, and consequent effects on crop yields, biodiversity and wild ecosystem health, will be made clear. The focus will be on England, but where there is a dearth of evidence then studies from other countries in the UK and other temperate regions can be translated to the English situation with appropriate caveats.
The overall aim of this project is to develop a clear understanding of the current evidence base on pollinators/pollination, which will then be used to inform evidence and policy workshops, as well as adding to the wider discussion leading to a national (English) strategy for pollinators.

The outputs from this project will form the key inputs for the pollinator workshop to be held in November 2013. The aim of the project is to provide baselines for the key parameters associated with the status of UK pollinators and the pollination services they provide and projections (e.g. scenarios) of the levels of these parameters to 2025 if no additional actions were undertaken. The supporting evidence should be critically appraised and weighted in a transparent systematic manner to explore future projections and associated uncertainties/caveats. Whilst the projections should be as robust as possible it should be recognised that these will form the main subject for challenge by the evidence workshop and, where evidence is sparse, could take the form of a “straw man” to stimulate challenge and guide the direction of the workshop debates.

The project will aim to provide a quantitative assessment of the effect of pollinator population/community changes on pollination efficiency in both farmed crops and wild flowers. Where such data do not exist the review will make clear statements on the specific absence(s) of evidence.

1. Describe the current status of insect pollinators (wild and managed) and the pollination services they provide to insect-pollinated crops and wild plant species
2. Identify the main drivers and pressures on pollinators and pollination in England/UK and how these vary among pollinator groups and geographic locations
3. Define where in the English/UK landscape pollination services are required for crops and if possible wild plants
4. Develop scenarios (including business as usual) of how the status of pollinators or pollination services may change towards 2025

The primary output will be a short (no more than 20 pages), predominantly graphical, representation of the evidence for pollination efficiency and the projected changes in these over the next decades up to 2025 suitable for comprehension and critical analysis by a mixed audience of pollinator stakeholders. This will be supported by a database of the underpinning literature. Details of how the evidence has been transformed/weighted to provide the projections and associated uncertainties. Where no projection can be made, the absence of key data should be catalogued as key evidence gaps.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : final report ph0514   (1644k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2013

Cost: £25,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Centre For Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)
Fields of Study
Plant Health