From flowers to landscapes: the natural processes influencing pollinator health

An online conference to showcase and discuss new research which explores the natural processes affecting pollinator health.

Bee pollinating yellow flower

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Recordings

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Programme

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The critical contribution of pollinators to crop production and maintaining natural ecosystems and the compelling messages in the press about saving bees has elevated pollination to one of the most high-profile public and scientific research areas in biodiversity conservation. 

Constraints caused by human activities such as agricultural intensification, pesticides and habitat loss have had severe impacts on some pollinating species and research studying these challenges dominates much of the current research in this field.

However, natural processes such as the role of macro and micronutrients, gut symbionts, bioactive and behaviour modifying natural floral chemicals, the nectar microbiome, soil quality, habitat diversity, floral resources and competition with domestic honeybees in the health of pollinators have, by comparison, received much less attention.

Yet these natural processes could have a major influence on health and the wellbeing of pollinators at individual, population and community level.  

This conference will bring together world leaders in pollination research and conservation who will present work from new publications in a special issue of the prestigious journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences published by the Royal Society. 

Pollinator health is a topic that is especially timely in the wake of recent global assessments of the state of the world’s wildlife and ecosystem services, such as those of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

The World Economic Forum in its 2020 report identified biodiversity loss including the decline of pollinating insects as one of the most likely and impactful global risks.

These reports highlighted the critical role of nature-based solutions, in addressing global challenges of biodiversity loss, feeding an increasing global population and mitigating climate change through enhanced natural ecosystems, which all depend in large part on pollination services.

Sub-themes

The special issue and conference will address the following: 

  • Microbial interactions 
  • Nectar and pollen chemistry 
  • Landscape and society 
  • Pollinator behaviour and evolution

Supported by

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