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The Science Behind the Guide
Professor Richard Pywell
Photocredit:JamesPeat
16+ years of applied pollinator research
Status of wild pollinators
 Analysis of volunteer-collected data
showed marked decline of rare bees
(esp. bumblebees) aft...
Trends in pollinators
 New Government Indicator for 2015 to track status & trends of pollinators
 Uses volunteer-collect...
Causes of pollinator decline
Bee forage plants Other plants
• Analysis of national monitoring
data showed first evidence f...
Designing new pollinator habitats
 BUZZ Expt tested benefits of new AES
management for pollinators over 5 years
 Wildflo...
Pywell, R.F. et al. (2011) Management to enhance pollen and nectar resources for
bumblebees and butterflies within intensi...
The importance of landscape
• New pollinator habitat benefited
bees more in intensively farmed
areas than diverse landscap...
Farmer training delivers more pollinators
Improving
agri-environment
schemes
Improving
agri-environment
schemes
Untrained
...
Pollinator habitat creation benefits food production
• An experiment on a commercial
farm tested the effects of removing
3...
The need for improved pollinator monitoring
• The National Pollinator Strategy cites need for
improved evidence by develop...
Thank you
Design:
Heather Lowther
Illustrations & images:
Chris Shields, Tony Hopkins, Brigit Strawbridge,
Mike Edwards, L...
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Habitat Creation and Management for Pollinators: the Science Behind the Guide

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Prof Richard Pywell of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is a co-author (with Marek Nowakowski) of Habitat Creation and Management for Pollinators. This freely available guide outlines simple actions for land managers to take to improve the environment for pollinators. Richard's presentation at the launch event for the guide explains more about the years of applied pollinator research that has informed the publication.

See more: http://www.ceh.ac.uk/news-and-media/blogs/pollinators-research-and-practical-management-white-coat-and-welly-boot

Published in: Environment
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Habitat Creation and Management for Pollinators: the Science Behind the Guide

  1. 1. The Science Behind the Guide Professor Richard Pywell Photocredit:JamesPeat
  2. 2. 16+ years of applied pollinator research
  3. 3. Status of wild pollinators  Analysis of volunteer-collected data showed marked decline of rare bees (esp. bumblebees) after 1960  6 bumblebees and 13 other bees prioritised for conservation under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan 1900-1959 1960-2010 Change in species richness rare bumblebees BWARS Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society Photocredit:MarekNowakowski
  4. 4. Trends in pollinators  New Government Indicator for 2015 to track status & trends of pollinators  Uses volunteer-collected records  28 – 51% of species less widespread between 1980–2010  14 – 27% of species became more widespread (depending on criteria) Pollinator indicator 2015 Year n = 213 Scaledoccupancyindex http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-6851
  5. 5. Causes of pollinator decline Bee forage plants Other plants • Analysis of national monitoring data showed first evidence for 20th Century declines in important bee forage plants • 76% of key flowering plants have declined since 1930 • Informed design of simple, low- cost ‘Pollen & Nectar’ seed mixes to create habitats for bees in the farmed landscape Photocredit:LucyHulmes,CEH Carvell, C. et al. (2006) Declines in forage availability for bumblebees at a national scale. Biological Conservation 132: 481-489.
  6. 6. Designing new pollinator habitats  BUZZ Expt tested benefits of new AES management for pollinators over 5 years  Wildflower mixes provided excellent continuity of flowers (incl. early season) & were attractive to widest range of bees  Low-cost Pollen & Nectar mixes based on agric. clovers were quick to establish; provided abundant flowers for long- tongued bees, but were short-lived (3 years)  Science from BUZZ helped engage & train farmers across the UK and Europe to create habitat for insect pollinators Photocredit:LucyHulmes,CEH Carvell, C. et al. (2007) Comparing the efficacy of agri-environment schemes to enhance bumblebee abundance and diversity on arable field margins. Journal of Applied Ecology, 44, 29-40.
  7. 7. Pywell, R.F. et al. (2011) Management to enhance pollen and nectar resources for bumblebees and butterflies within intensively farmed landscapes. Journal of Insect Conservation, 15,853-284. Habitat quality is vital 26May 15Jun 05Jul 25Jul 14Aug 03Sep 26May 15Jun 05Jul 25Jul 14Aug 03Sep Early Summer cut Removal of cutting • Early summer cutting prolongs flowering of Pollen & Nectar habitat • Removal of cuttings increases flower numbers • Cutting half a Pollen & Nectar margin in May/June extends flowering to late- summer for queen bees & reduces damage to butterfly breeding habitat Photocredit:UptonEstate
  8. 8. The importance of landscape • New pollinator habitat benefited bees more in intensively farmed areas than diverse landscapes where other foraging habitats exist • DNA analysis and landscape mapping showed bumblebees forage closer to their nests in farmland with higher proportions of flower-rich habitats • Informed the development of new ‘packages’ of measures for pollinators under the agri- environment schemes Photocredit:LucyHulmes,CEH Carvell. C, et al. (2011) Bumblebee species’ responses to a targeted conservation measure depend on landscape context and habitat quality. Ecological Applications, 21, 1760-1771. JW Redhead, et al. (in press). Effects of habitat composition and landscape structure on worker foraging distances of five bumblebee species. Ecological Applications. Doi:10.1890/15- 0546.1.
  9. 9. Farmer training delivers more pollinators Improving agri-environment schemes Improving agri-environment schemes Untrained Trained  Farmer experience of agri-environment management & training had a strong positive effect on the quality of Pollen & Nectar habitat produced  Bee abundance & diversity was much higher on these better quality, farmer managed habitats Photocredit:CEH Photocredit:CEH McCracken, M.E. et al. (2015) Social and ecological drivers of success in agri- environment schemes: the roles of farmers and environmental context. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52, 696-705.
  10. 10. Pollinator habitat creation benefits food production • An experiment on a commercial farm tested the effects of removing 3% and 8% of low yielding cropland from production to create habitats for pollinators & other wildlife • Yields at the field-scale were maintained for cereals and enhanced for some insect pollinated crops - despite the loss of land • These beneficial effects became more pronounced over 6 years
  11. 11. The need for improved pollinator monitoring • The National Pollinator Strategy cites need for improved evidence by developing a sustainable long-term monitoring programme • CEH led a consortium of volunteer schemes, NGOs, universities to develop and test a National Pollinator Monitoring Framework • Objectively assessed various costed scenarios • Will inform policy decisions on future monitoring of pollinators & pollination service • Published 6 May Cost Scenario Very low Strengthen existing biological recording Low Augmented with additional measures on existing scheme sites Medium Volunteer-led water trapping & identification High Professionally-led repeated systematic sampling of crops & habitats http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?M enu=Menu&Module=More&Location=No ne&Completed=2&ProjectID=19259
  12. 12. Thank you Design: Heather Lowther Illustrations & images: Chris Shields, Tony Hopkins, Brigit Strawbridge, Mike Edwards, Lucy Hulmes, Emorsgate & Octopus Press Support: Andrew & Anne Hitchens, Richard Brow, William Wolmer, Andrew & Jane Ingrams, Robin & Sue Faccenda, Jon Marshall, Geoff Coates, Belinda Bailey, David Langton, Claire Bend, Simon Ward, Richard Brown, Ian Wilkinson, Mike Green, Keith Porter, Richard Brand-Hardy, Ken Slater, Bill Meek, Mike Edwards & David Bellamy Funding:

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