Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pre-war insect hunters help to save our pollinators

Date:
August 22, 2013
Source:
British Ecological Society (BES)
Summary:
Maps made more than seventy years ago and records collected by amateur naturalists between the World Wars are providing new clues about declining pollinator numbers, ecologists have found. By showing which land use changes have driven pollinator declines over the past 100 years, the research reveals how we could ensure future land use benefits these vital insects.

Maps made more than seventy years ago and records collected by amateur naturalists between the World Wars are providing new clues about declining pollinator numbers, ecologists have found. By showing which land use changes have driven pollinator declines over the past 100 years, the research reveals how we could ensure future land use benefits these vital insects.

The results are presented at INTECOL, the world's largest international ecology meeting, in London this week.

Using newly-developed statistical techniques, the team from Reading, Leeds and the Centre for Hydrology & Ecology analysed two sets of historical data: pollinator data from 1921-1950 based on more than half a million records collected by the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society since 1800 and now digitised; and the Dudley Stamp Land Utilisation survey from the 1930s, the earliest known land use map of Britain.

By comparing this historical data for 21 sites across England with recent pollinator records and land cover maps, they found that 85% of sites had suffered declines in pollinator species richness of between 10 and 50% over the past 80-100 years.

The results show urban landscapes might not be as detrimental to pollinator communities as previously thought; sites with an increased level of urbanisation around them show smaller declines in pollinator diversity. According to Dr Deepa Senapathi of the University of Reading: "This doesn't mean that concrete jungles are good for pollinators, but urban environments may offer diverse forage resources in the shape of people's gardens, parks, churchyards and green spaces which in turn could help support these insects."

This is the first study of its kind to look at the impact of historic land-use change on pollinator communities in Britain. It shows that the dramatic changes in land use since World War II -- in particular agricultural intensification and urbanisation -- have had a significant impact on pollinator communities.

As well as helping explain how past land use change has driven pollinator declines, history offers important lessons about how to improve things in future. "Understanding the major step changes in land utilisation over the last 80-100 years provides a unique understanding of the drivers within changing land-use that might have the most significant impact on pollinator communities," Dr Senapathi says.

In particular, pollinators would benefit from more diverse landscapes. "Based on our results it looks increasingly like sites which were predominantly heathland but are now a combination of heathland, grassland and woodland probably provide a better landscape for pollinators than a landscape with just one habitat type," she explains.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Ecological Society (BES). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Ecological Society (BES). "Pre-war insect hunters help to save our pollinators." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822090038.htm>.
British Ecological Society (BES). (2013, August 22). Pre-war insect hunters help to save our pollinators. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822090038.htm
British Ecological Society (BES). "Pre-war insect hunters help to save our pollinators." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822090038.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins