Enhancing Pollination Services (Garibaldi et al. 2014)
General science-based advice to land managers and policy makers
Consensus based on reviewed evidence
- Diverse assemblages of wild insects improve pollination services.
- Pollinator richness (and associated aggregate abundance of wild insects) contributes to crop pollination even when honey bees are present in high abundance.
- Pollinator richness increases with the diversity of floral resources.
- Effectiveness of pollinator-supporting practices is context dependent and usually more successful in situations where background floral resources are scarce. In cases where abundant floral resources are available, floral resources should be preserved.
- Effectiveness of large-scale pollinator-supporting practices varies according to the smaller-scale practices carried out, and vice versa. Different combinations of local and landscape practices can result in similar outcomes in terms of promoting pollinator richness, providing alternative solutions suited to different agricultural settings.
- Small-scale practices can have major effects on pollinators and pollination services. The relative importance of such smaller-scale initiatives is likely greater for pollinators with shorter flight ranges.
- Enhancement of wild pollinators can take several years, but still be cost effective. However, the generality of this conclusion is uncertain and more studies are needed in a variety of crop, landscape, and economic contexts.
- A practical way to start transforming pollinator-limiting landscapes into more suitable ones is to carry out more targeted[, reduced, or eliminated] use of insecticides, and to employ marginal land to establish and maintain conservation buffers, field borders, and hedgerows, as well as to restore (semi-)natural areas adjacent to crops (less than 200 m away). These changes will also increase farmland heterogeneity, benefiting the sustainability of agriculture.
Garibaldi, L. A., Carvalheiro, L. G., Leonhardt, S. D., Aizen, M. A., Blaauw, B. R., Isaacs, R., Kuhlmann, M., Kleijn, D., Klein, A. M., Kremen, C., Morandin, L., Scheper, J., and Winfree, R. (2014). From research to action: Enhancing crop yield through wild pollinators. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12, 439-447.