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:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 1, 2017  Central to ... and meaningful advances worldwide, The Japan Prize Foundation ... Prize, who have pushed the envelope in their ... and Communication. Three scientists are being recognized with ... achievements that not only contribute to the advancement ...
(Date:1/30/2017)... 2017   Invitae Corporation (NYSE: ... companies, today announced that it will report its fourth ... guidance on Monday, February 13, 2017, and Invitae,s management ... 4:45 p.m. Eastern / 1:45 p.m. Pacific. ... review financial results, guidance, and recent developments and will ...
(Date:1/25/2017)... 25, 2017 The Elements of Enterprise Information ... is comprised of a comprehensive set of business ... maintaining digital identities and providing a secured and ... are significant number of programs opted by enterprises ... by optimizing processes and changing policies. However, there ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... and SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. ... regenerative medicine company, and Beyond Type 1, a not-for-profit ... 1 diabetes, today announced a grant from Beyond Type ... cure for type 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.  ... been developing innovative stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies with ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... a free AFM Luncheon for all SPIE attendees and Park ... CA, just one block from the San Jose Convention Center. The luncheon will ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... and development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced it has issued ... ProMIS approach.” This is one of a series of commentaries from ProMIS’s scientific ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017 Origin (Origin Agritech, LLC, a ... and seed provider, and Arcadia (Arcadia Biosciences, ... develops and commercializes agricultural productivity traits and nutritional products, today announced ... biotechnology product developed in China to ... trials. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: