Widespread losses of pollinating insects in Britain

Powney, Gary D.; Carvell, Claire; Edwards, Mike; Morris, Roger K.A.; Roy, Helen E.; Woodcock, Ben A.; Isaac, Nick J.B.. 2019 Widespread losses of pollinating insects in Britain. Nature Communications, 10, 1018. 6, pp.

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Pollination is a critical ecosystem service underpinning the productivity of agricultural systems across the world. Wild insect populations provide a substantial contribution to the productivity of many crops and seed set of wild flowers. However, large-scale evidence on species-specific trends among wild pollinators are lacking. Here we show substantial inter-specific variation in pollinator trends, based on occupancy models for 353 wild bee and hoverfly species in Great Britain between 1980 and 2013. Furthermore, we estimate a net loss of over 2.7 million occupied 1 km2 grid cells across all species. Declines in pollinator evenness suggest that losses were concentrated in rare species. In addition, losses linked to specific habitats were identified, with a 55% decline among species associated with uplands. This contrasts with dominant crop pollinators, which increased by 12%, potentially in response agri-environment measures. The general declines highlight a fundamental deterioration in both wider biodiversity and non-crop pollination services.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: biodiversity, ecological modelling, ecosystem services, macroecology
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Data and Information
Date made live: 28 Mar 2019 12:08 +0 (UTC)

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