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Global prices of pollination-dependent products such as coffee could rise in the long term
Date:4/27/2012

This press release is available in German.

Leipzig/Dresden/Freiburg. In recent years the economic value of pollination-dependent crops has substantially increased around the world. As a team of researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Technical University of Dresden and the University of Freiburg headed by the UFZ wrote in an article entitled "Spatial and temporal trends of global pollination benefit" in the open-access journal PLoS ONE the value of ecological pollination services was around 200 billion US dollars in 1993 and rose to around 350 billion US dollars in 2009. For the first time, the researchers were also able to show in which regions of the world pollination plays a particularly important role and agriculture is furthermore particularly dependent upon the pollination carried out by animals.

The researchers analysed this relationship on the basis of 60 crops, such as coffee, cocoa, apples and soya beans, which are dependent upon pollination by animals, mostly insects such as honeybees and wild bees, butterflies or bumble bees. These investigations enabled them to create a global map showing the dependence of agricultural yields upon pollination. "We can now estimate with a high degree of spatial resolution how large this contribution is in many regions", says the main author, Dr. Sven Lautenbach, researcher in the UFZ Department of Landscape Ecology. Particularly countries such as China, India, the USA, Brazil and Japan greatly benefit from pollination-dependent products. For the first time, the researchers have analysed this effect at the regional level: In the USA, for example, the dependence is particularly high in California and in the corn belt in the Midwest relatively unimportant. In Asia the northeast region of China is particularly dependent upon pollination, in Europe primarily the Medi
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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert  

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