Current Pollination News and Events

Current Pollination News and Events, Pollination News Articles.
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Potential regional declines in species richness of tomato pollinators under climate
About 70% of the world's main crops depend on insect pollination. Climate change is already affecting the abundance and distribution of insects, which could cause geographical mismatches between crops and their pollinators. Crops that rely primarily on wild pollinators (e.g., crops that cannot be effectively pollinated by commercial colonies of honey bees) could be particularly in jeopardy. (2021-02-22)

The business of bees
The economic value of insect pollinators was $34 billion in the U.S. in 2012, much higher than previously thought, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University. The team also found that areas that are economically most reliant on insect pollinators are the same areas where pollinator habitat and forage quality are poor. (2021-02-03)

Curtin study finds native bees under threat from growing urbanization
Residential gardens are a poor substitute for native bushland and increasing urbanisation is a growing threat when it comes to bees, Curtin University research has found. Published in 'Urban Ecosystems', the research looked at bee visits to flowers, which form pollination networks across different native bushland and home garden habitats. (2021-02-02)

Pollinator host-switches and fig hybridization dominate fig-wasp coevolution
Together with colleagues from 11 institutions from home and abroad, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently shown that the fig hybridization mediated by pollinator host-switching in the obligate fig-wasp pollination system is more common than previously thought. (2021-02-02)

The surprises of color evolution
Nature is full of colour. For flowers, displaying colour is primarily a means to attract pollinators. Insects use their colour vision not only to locate the right flowers to feed on but also to find mates. The evolutionary interaction between insects and plants has created complex dependencies that can have surprising outcomes. Casper van der Kooi, a biologist at the University of Groningen, uses an interdisciplinary approach to analyse the interaction between pollinators and flowers. (2021-01-25)

Flowery diets help predatory insects help farmers keep pests in check
Predatory insects have been shown to live longer when they have access to nectar and pollen, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen. Thus, flowers don't just benefit insects, they help farmers farm sustainably. Predatory insects are skilled pest controllers whose hunting reduces the need for agricultural pesticides. (2021-01-22)

Male butterflies mark their mates with repulsive smell during sex to 'turn off' other suitors
Butterflies have evolved to produce a strongly scented chemical in their genitals that they leave behind after sex to deter other males from pursuing their women - scientists have found. Researchers discovered a chemical made in the sex glands of the males of one species of tropical butterfly is identical to a chemical produced by flowers to attract butterflies. The study published in PLOS Biology today (19 January 2021) identified a gene for the first time. (2021-01-19)

Study of flowers with two types of anthers solves mystery that baffled Darwin
Most flowering plants depend on pollinators such as bees to transfer pollen from the male anthers of one flower to the female stigma of another flower, enabling fertilization and the production of fruits and seeds. Bee pollination, however, involves an inherent conflict of interest, because bees are only interested in pollen as a food source. A new study describes a pollination strategy involving flowers with two distinct sets of anthers that differ in color, size, and position. (2021-01-12)

Ecologically friendly agriculture doesn't compromise crop yields
Research published in Science Advances--based on an analysis of 5,188 studies comparing diversified and simplified agricultural practices--indicates crop yield was maintained or even increased under diversified practices. (2020-11-05)

Artificial night lighting has widespread impacts on nature
Artificial night-time lighting has a diverse range of effects across the natural world and should be limited where possible, researchers say. (2020-11-02)

First Australian night bees recorded foraging in darkness
Australian bees are known for pollinating plants on beautiful sunny days, but a new study has identified two species that have adapted their vision for night-time conditions for the first time. The study by a team of ecology researchers has observed night time foraging behaviour by a nomiine (Reepenia bituberculata) and masked (Meroglossa gemmata) bee species, with both developing enlarged compound and simple eyes which allow more light to be gathered when compared to their daytime kin. (2020-10-30)

Shifts in flowering phases of plants due to reduced insect density
A research group of the University of Jena and the iDiv has discovered that insects have a decisive influence on the biodiversity and flowering phases of plants. If there is a lack of insects where the plants are growing, their flowering behaviour changes. This can result in the lifecycles of the insects and the flowering periods of the plants no longer coinciding. If the insects seek nectar, some plants will no longer be pollinated. (2020-10-26)

The ur-Iris likely had purple flowers, pollinated by insects for nectar
Plant scientists use genomic data to build a family tree of over 200 species in the highly diverse genus Iris, onto which they map traits related to flower color and morphology, and mating system. They deduce that the last common ancestor probably had nectar-producing purple flowers, pollinated by insects and self-compatible, with a crest and a spot on the falls (sepals). (2020-10-13)

University of Guam part of international effort to understand cycad pollinators
The Guam team's 2017 discovery of the new Cycadophila samara beetle and its pollination of cycads is now contributing to an international effort to more fully understand the intimate relationship between plant and insect. (2020-10-13)

Genomes offer new insights into fig-wasp symbiotic system
In a recent study, researchers from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) and the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) provided insights into fig-wasp coevolution through comparative analyses of two Ficus genomes - one with aerial roots and one without, one monecious and one dioecious, as well as the genome of a coevolving wasp pollinator. They also sequenced more samples of figs and pollinators. (2020-10-09)

Pollinator monitoring more than pays for itself
Study found pollinator monitoring schemes, which often combine expert and volunteer observations, provide high-quality scientific data at a far lower cost than individual research projects. (2020-10-08)

Long-term consequences difficult to predict
In a longitudinal study, an international research team led by Leipzig University has investigated the consequences of changes in plant biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems. The scientists found that the relationships between plant traits and ecosystem functions change from year to year. This makes predicting the long-term consequences of biodiversity change extremely difficult, they write in ''Nature Ecology & Evolution''. (2020-10-07)

Pesticides and food scarcity dramatically reduce wild bee population
The loss of flowering plants and the widespread use of pesticides could be a double punch to wild bee populations. In a new study, researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that the combined threats reduced blue orchard bee reproduction by 57 percent and resulted in fewer female offspring. (2020-10-06)

Scientists help reboot 50 years of plant advice to solve one of nature's biggest challenges
Scientists from the University of Portsmouth and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, have come up with a formula to help plant breeders and farmers around the world grow crops in a more sustainable way. (2020-09-30)

Hand pollination, not agrochemicals, increases cocoa yield and farmer income
Agroecologists from Göttingen University compare pesticides, fertilisers, manual pollination and farming costs in Indonesia (2020-09-30)

Better conservation planning can improve human life too
Conservation planning can be greatly improved to benefit human communities, while still protecting biodiversity, according to University of Queensland research. PhD candidate Jaramar Villarreal-Rosas, from UQ's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said the benefits people receive from ecosystems - known as ecosystem services - are under increasing threat globally due to the negative impacts of human activities. (2020-09-22)

Scientists "scent train" honeybees to boost sunflowers' seed production
If you want a dog to hunt something down, it helps to let them sniff an item to pick up the scent. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on September 17 have found that scent training honeybees might work in a similar way--and that this approach could make bees more efficient in pollinating crops. The findings show that honeybees given food scented with sunflower odors led to a significant increase in sunflower crop production. (2020-09-17)

Heated rivalries for pollinators among arctic plants
Insect pollination is as important to Arctic plants as it is to plants further south. When flowers abound, the plants have to compete for pollinators. Researchers at the University of Helsinki reveal that higher temperatures cause the flowering periods of different plant species to pile up in time. As a consequence, climate change may affect the competitive relationships of plants. (2020-09-11)

Mutant tomato helps to crack the secrets of fruiting
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found that fruit development in tomatoes rewires their central metabolism. The plant hormone gibberellin, which regulates major parts of plant development, triggers the process of fruiting. Using a mutant strain of tomato that is highly sensitive to gibberellin, the study showed that the central metabolism pathway in tomatoes was consistently rewired via gibberellin activity. These results could lead to new production strategies, such as breeding seedless fruit. (2020-09-10)

Air pollution renders flower odors unattractive to moths
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, and the University of Virginia, USA, showed that tobacco hawkmoths lost attraction to the scent of their preferred flowers when that scent had been altered by ozone. This oxidizing pollutant thus disturbs the chemical communication between a plant and its pollinator. However, when given the chance, hawkmoths quickly learn that an unpleasantly polluted scent may lead to nutritious nectar. (2020-09-04)

Out of sync: Ecologists report climate change affecting bee, plant life cycles
Reporting on the first community-wide assessment of 67 bee species of the Colorado Rockies, ecologists Michael Stemkovski of Utah State University and Rebecca Irwin of North Carolina State University say ''phenological mismatch,'' changing timing of life cycles between bees and flowers, caused by climate change, has the potential to disrupt a mutually beneficial relationship. (2020-08-19)

Does city life make bumblebees larger?
Does urbanisation drive bumblebee evolution? A new study by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig provides an initial indication of this. According to the study, bumblebees are larger in cities and, therefore, more productive than their rural counterparts. In 'Evolutionary Applications', the research team reports that differences in body size maybe caused by the increasingly fragmented habitats in cities. (2020-08-17)

UMD discovers a new role for a well-known molecule as a plant hormone
Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered a new role for a well-known plant molecule, providing the first clear example of ACC acting as a likely plant hormone. In Nature Communications, researchers show that ACC has a critical role in pollination and seed production by activating proteins similar to those in human and animal nervous systems. Findings could change textbooks and open the door for research to improve plant health and crop yield. (2020-08-14)

Land-use change disrupts wild plant pollination on a global scale
Human changes to the environment have been linked to widespread pollinator declines. New research published in Nature Communications shows that intensive land use will further decrease pollination and reproductive success of wild plants, especially of those plants that are highly specialized in their pollination. (2020-08-10)

Bees' buzz is more powerful for pollination, than for defence or flight
Buzzing by bees during flower pollination is significantly more powerful than that used for defense or flight, according to a new study from experts at the University of Stirling. (2020-07-29)

Decline of bees, other pollinators threatens US crop yields
Crop yields for apples, cherries and blueberries across the United States are being reduced by a lack of pollinators, according to Rutgers-led research, the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. Most of the world's crops depend on honeybees and wild bees for pollination, so declines in both managed and wild bee populations raise concerns about food security, notes the study in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. (2020-07-28)

European maize highlights the hidden differences within a species
Maize is one of our major staple foods and is cultivated around the world, showcasing a broad range of genetic adaptations to different environmental conditions. To date, the best understood maize line is the American dent maize line B73. Scientists have now expanded our knowledge of the maize genome through the analysis of four European flint lines. The found genetic differences between the lines illustrate the importance of looking at the pangenome of a crop, when working with its genetics. (2020-07-27)

Site-directed mutagenesis in wheat via haploid induction by maize
Site-directed mutagenesis facilitates the experimental validation of gene function and can speed up plant breeding by producing new biodiversity or by reproducing previously known gene variants in other than their original genetic backgrounds. However, its application is challenging in wheat owing to high genomic redundancy and highly genotype-dependent DNA transfer methods. (2020-07-21)

More ecosystem engineers create stability, preventing extinctions
Biological builders like beavers, elephants, and shipworms re-engineer their environments. How this affects their ecological network is the subject of new research, which finds that increasing the number of ''ecosystem engineers'' stabilizes the entire network against extinctions. (2020-07-03)

Soap bubbles pollinated a pear orchard without damaging delicate flowers
Soap bubbles facilitated the pollination of a pear orchard by delivering pollen grains to targeted flowers, demonstrating that this whimsical technique can successfully pollinate fruit-bearing plants. The study, from the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Nomi, Japan, and published June 17 in the journal iScience, suggests that soap bubbles may present a low-tech complement to robotic pollination technology designed to supplement the work of vanishing bees. (2020-06-17)

Agroforestry is 'win win' for bees and crops, study shows
Agroforestry has long been suggested as a solution to halt the decline of pollinators, yet observational studies in temperate climates have been virtually non-existent. New study shows planting woody plants alongside crops increases wild insect pollinator numbers and pollination. (2020-06-16)

Honeybee lives shortened after exposure to two widely used pesticides
The lives of honeybees are shortened -- with evidence of physiological stress -- when they are exposed to the suggested application rates of two commercially available and widely used pesticides. (2020-06-16)

Bees? Please. These plants are putting ants to work
This is the first plant species in the world found to have adapted traits that enables a mutually beneficial relationship with ants. (2020-06-10)

Temperate insects as vulnerable to climate change as tropical species
In previous research, it has been assumed that insects in temperate regions would cope well with or even benefit from a warmer climate. Not so, according to researchers from the Universities of Uppsala and Lund in Sweden and Oviedo, Spain, in a new study. The earlier models failed to take into account the fact that insects in temperate habitats are inactive for much of the year. (2020-06-08)

Bees grooming each other can boost colony immunity
Honeybees that specialise in grooming their nestmates (allogroomers) to ward off pests play a central role in the colony, finds a new UCL and University of Florence study published in Scientific Reports. (2020-06-02)

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