From research to action: enhancing crop yield through wild pollinators

Authors


Abstract

Recent evidence highlights the value of wild-insect species richness and abundance for crop pollination worldwide. Yet, deliberate physical importation of single species (eg European honey bees) into crop fields for pollination remains the mainstream management approach, and implementation of practices to enhance crop yield (production per area) through wild insects is only just beginning. With few exceptions, studies measuring the impacts of pollinator-supporting practices on wild-insect richness and pollination service success – particularly in relation to long-term crop yield and economic profit – are rare. Here, we provide a general framework and examples of approaches for enhancing pollinator richness and abundance, quantity and quality of pollen on stigmas, crop yield, and farmers' profit, including some benefits detected only through long-term monitoring. We argue for integrating the promotion of wild-insect species richness with single-species management to benefit farmers and society.

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