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Wild pollinators in arable habitats: trends, threats and opportunities

Storkey, J., Brown, M. J. F., Carvell, C., Dicks, L. V. and Senapathi, D. ORCID: (2021) Wild pollinators in arable habitats: trends, threats and opportunities. In: Hurford, C., Wilson, P. and Storkey, J. (eds.) The Changing Status of Arable Habitats in Europe. Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 187-201. ISBN 9783030598754

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-59875-4_13


The dramatic declines in pollinator (social and solitary bees, wasps, flies, beetles, butterflies, and moths) abundance and diversity observed in Europe and globally in recent decades have generated widespread scientific and societal concern. It is particularly important to conserve healthy populations of pollinators in arable landscapes because of the ‘ecosystem service’ they provide to mass flowering crops such as field beans. Changes in land use prior to the 1970s led to declines in more specialist bee species that have now become rare or extinct in arable landscapes, being replaced by a more generalist, resilient pollinator community. Responses of pollinators to agricultural intensification since the 1970s are subtle and need to be interpreted in the context of other drivers including climate change and pathogen load. However, it is incontrovertible that agricultural practices such as the use of pesticides and loss of semi-natural habitat can have a detrimental effect on pollinator communities and the ecosystem service they provide. It is vital, therefore, that arable landscapes are managed in a way that provides sufficient resource and nesting habitat and either avoids or mitigates exposure to pesticides; the efficacy of specific measures to achieve this are reviewed.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:96417

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