Navigation Links
Pollinator decline not reducing crop yields just yet
Date:11/11/2008

The well-documented worldwide decline in the number of bees and other pollinators is not, at this stage, limiting global crop yields, according to the results of an international study published in the latest edition of the respected science journal, Current Biology.

Co-author, CSIRO Entomology's Dr Saul Cunningham, says however that the study detected warning signs that demand for pollinators is still growing and some highly pollinator-dependant crops are suffering.

"The research team scored crops on how much they depend on pollinators for maximum production," Dr Cunningham says. "Depending on the crop, this dependence ranges from zero to 100 per cent. For example, cereal crops like wheat don't need to be pollinated but at the other end of the scale, unpollinated almond trees produce no nuts."

The team found that between 1961 and 2006 the yields of most crops have consistently grown at about 1.5 per cent a year because of improvements in agriculture. There was also no difference in yield growth between crops that require pollinators and those that do not

"While this is a positive finding, the interaction between yields and pollination is a hugely complex issue which needs to be teased-out further," Dr Cunningham says. "Global summaries can also hide local stories. In some places, local pollinator shortages are affecting local production. While these don't threaten overall global food supplies, they can have very significant impacts on local communities and their economies."

The researchers were surprised to discover that there has been a global increase in the growing of pollinator-dependent crops, particularly in the developing world.

"The fact that, while pollinators are declining in various parts of the world, global agricultural systems are becoming more dependent on pollinators, could create serious problems in the future," Dr Cunningham says.

When the group looked at pollinated crops in more detail, they found that pollinator shortages might be beginning to affect crops that rely heavily on pollination because their yield growth was lower than for crops that were less dependent.

Dr Cunningham says they now want to examine how declining pollinator supply might be increasing the costs of production. Increased yields are usually the result of increasing farm inputs such as fertiliser, labour and water. For some crops, this increasingly intensive management may have, for now, overcome any losses in pollinator service, but it also increases production costs. There is also evidence that one response to lower yield growth for highly pollinator dependent crops is a growing demand for land.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mrs. Julie Carter
julie.carter@csiro.au
61-262-464-040
CSIRO Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ecologists tease out private lives of plants and their pollinators
2. Wildflower declines in Thoreaus Concord woods are due to climate changes
3. Vitamin K does not stem BMD decline in postmenopausal women with osteopenia
4. In a last stronghold for endangered chimpanzees, survey finds drastic decline
5. Decline in Alaskan sea otters affects bald eagles diet
6. In scientific first, Einstein researchers correct decline in organ function associated with old age
7. River damming leads to dramatic decline in native fish numbers
8. Great Ape Trusts Wich lead author of Oryx paper on continuing orangutan population declines
9. Understanding autumn rain decline in SE Australia
10. NOAA reports coastal waters show decline in contaminants
11. Changes in ocean conditions in Sargasso Sea potential cause for decline in eel fishery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2017)... SINGAPORE , May 5, 2017 ... has just announced a new breakthrough in biometric ... that exploits quantum mechanical properties to perform ... new smart semiconductor material created by Ram Group ... across finance, entertainment, transportation, supply chains and security. ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global ... of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s ... recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during ... at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 2017 According to a new market research report ... Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region ... expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Third Wave Bioactives, LLC announces the addition of Brett ... new business development and ensuring quality customer experience. , Brett brings to ... in technical, marketing and sales roles. “Brett’s background working with customers and eye for ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Biova, LLC., the leader ... joined Biova’s Board of Directors. Dr. Henig will bring a wealth of scientific experience ... served as the Chief Technical and Scientific Officer of four major global companies in ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... a redesigned, easier-to-navigate website for all six of their healthcare job boards. ... dentists, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, and biotechnicians, DocCafe.com and the MedJobCafe.com ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... RMC Pharmaceutical Solutions, Inc. announces ... Reinhardt to manage the new site. , Tim has 25 years of pharmaceutical ... recent role as the Director of Manufacturing and Supplier Quality Assessment. This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: