Current Pollinators News and Events

Current Pollinators News and Events, Pollinators News Articles.
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Parasitic plants conspire to keep hosts alive
The plant that encourages kissing at Christmas is in fact a parasite, and new research reveals mistletoe has an unusual feeding strategy. When two mistletoes invade the same tree, they increase photosynthesis to get the nutrients they need, essentially sharing the tree and causing it less harm. (2021-02-23)

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)

Pioneering research reveals gardens are secret powerhouse for pollinators
Home gardens are by far the biggest source of food for pollinating insects, including bees and wasps, in cities and towns, according to new research. (2021-02-21)

Biodiversity protects bee communities from disease
A new analysis of thousands of native and nonnative Michigan bees shows that the most diverse bee communities have the lowest levels of three common viral pathogens. (2021-02-12)

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)

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)

Common pesticides stop bees and flies from getting a good night's sleep
Just like us, many insects need a decent night's sleep to function properly, but this might not be possible if they have been exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides, the most common form of insecticide used worldwide, suggests research by academics at the University of Bristol. (2021-01-21)

Honeybees reveal how our floral landscape has changed over the last 65 years
Honeybees have been helping researchers from the National Botanic Garden of Wales track how the UK's fields, hedgerows, wild spaces and gardens have changed since the 1950s. (2021-01-14)

Bees respond to wildfire aftermath by producing more female offspring
Researchers have found that the blue orchard bee, an important native pollinator, produces female offspring at higher rates in the aftermath of wildfire in forests. (2021-01-14)

Penned release of green geckos has potential to help preserve threatened native species
In a paper just published in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology, the Department of Zoology researchers outlined how they translocated 19 barking geckos to Mana Island, using the method of penned release - enclosing them in a 100m² pen for three months so they get used to the site and hopefully establish a breeding population. (2021-01-13)

Climate change reduces the abundance and diversity of wild bees, study finds
Wild bees are more affected by climate change than by disturbances to their habitats, according to a team of researchers led by Penn State. The findings suggest that addressing land-use issues alone will not be sufficient to protecting these important pollinators. (2021-01-12)

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)

Simple, sensitive test helps monitor bats and protect biodiversity
A new article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry explores the use of a simple, inexpensive, and minimally invasive technique referred to as 'micronuclei detection' to assess genetic toxicity (genotoxicity) in free-ranging bats in areas of varying agricultural activity. (2020-12-07)

In fire-prone West, plants need their pollinators -- and vice versa
A new study grounded in the northern Rockies explores the role of wildfire in the finely tuned dance between plants and their pollinators. Previous studies have looked at how fire affects plants, or how fire affects animals. But what is largely understudied is the question of how fire affects both, and about how linkages within those ecological networks might respond to fire disturbance. The findings are particularly significant in light of recent reports about the rapid and widespread decline of insects globally. (2020-11-25)

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)

Genomic study reveals evolutionary secrets of banyan tree
The banyan fig tree Ficus microcarpa is famous for its aerial roots, which sprout from branches and eventually reach the soil. The tree also has a unique relationship with a wasp that has coevolved with it and is the only insect that can pollinate it. In a new study, researchers identify regions in the banyan fig's genome that promote the development of its unusual aerial roots and enhance its ability to signal its wasp pollinator. (2020-10-08)

Efficient pollen identification
From pollen forecasting, honey analysis and climate-related changes in plant-pollinator interactions, analysing pollen plays an important role in many areas of research. Microscopy is still the gold standard, but it is very time consuming and requires considerable expertise. Scientists have now developed a method that allows them to efficiently automate the process of pollen analysis. Their study has been published in the specialist journal New Phytologist. (2020-10-05)

Two pesticides approved for use in US harmful to bees
A previously banned insecticide, which was approved for agricultural use last year in the United States, is harmful for bees and other beneficial insects that are crucial for agriculture, and a second pesticide in widespread use also harms these insects. That is according to a new analysis from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin. (2020-09-29)

Insect Armageddon: low doses of the insecticide, Imidacloprid, cause blindness in insects
Joint research provides important evidence on the role of insecticides on the longevity of insect population. (2020-09-28)

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)

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)

Researchers warn of food-web threats from common insecticides
In an opinion in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from North Carolina State University and Pennsylvania State University argued for curbing the use of neonicotinoid insecticides. (2020-09-02)

Awareness raising alone is not enough
Too rarely do nature conservation initiatives or strategies announced by politicians lead to people changing their everyday behaviour. A German-Israeli research team led by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) has investigated the reasons for this. According to them, the measures do not sufficiently exploit the range of possible behavioural interventions and too rarely specify the target groups, they write in the journal Conservation Biology. (2020-09-01)

High human population density negative for pollinators
Population density, and not the proportion of green spaces, has the biggest impact on species richness of pollinators in residential areas. This is the result of a study from Lund University in Sweden of gardens and residential courtyards in and around Malmö, Sweden. (2020-08-25)

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)

Research brief: Bee neighborly -- sharing bees helps more farmers
New paper shows the benefits of cost-sharing the conservation of wild bee habitats on agricultural lands, especially in nearby farming communities, can help overcome the tragedy of the commons. (2020-08-18)

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)

Insect diversity boosted by combination of crop diversity and semi-natural habitats
To enhance the number of beneficial insect species in agricultural land, preserving semi-natural habitats and promoting crop diversity are both needed, according to new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied of Ecology. (2020-08-13)

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)

Air pollution impacts the health of wild pollinators
We have almost no idea how air pollution affects other organisms who breathe the same air as we do. In some of the first research in the world to try to address the physiological and molecular impacts of air pollution on our wild plants and animals, scientists from the Bangalore Life Science Cluster show that air pollution could be devastating for organisms we rely on most for our own survival - like the honey bee. (2020-08-10)

Studying interactions between ground-nesting bees and soils
Research gives possible answers to increase pollinator populations on farms. (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)

Study identifies spread of bee disease via flowers
One in 11 flowers carries disease-causing parasites known to contribute to bee declines, according to a Cornell University study that identifies how flowers act as hubs for transmitting diseases to bees and other pollinators. (2020-07-23)

Science sweetens native honey health claims
Examination of honey from five different stingless bee species across Neotropical and Indo-Australian regions has enabled for the first time the identification of the unusual disaccharide trehalulose as a major component representing between 13 and 44 g per 100 g of each of these honeys. The previously unrecognised abundance of trehalulose in stingless bee honeys is concrete evidence that supports some of the reported health attributes of this product. This is the first identification of trehalulose as a major component within a food commodity. (2020-07-22)

About 94 per cent of wild bee and native plant species networks lost, York study finds
Climate change and an increase in disturbed bee habitats from expanding agriculture and development in northeastern North America over the last 30 years are likely responsible for a 94 per cent loss of plant-pollinator networks, York University researchers found. The researchers, corresponding author Professor Sandra Rehan of the Faculty of Science and grad student Minna Mathiasson of the University of New Hampshire, looked at plant-pollinator networks from 125 years ago through present day. (2020-07-14)

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