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Sustainable Solutions to Problems affecting Bee Health

Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Environmental Conservation Dept.
Project Description: 

Pollinators underpin ecosystem functioning by pollinating most of the world’s flowering plants, including a high proportion of the world’s fruits and vegetables. Concern over pollinator population declines has highlighted the need to understand the stressors that are impacting bee communities. Climate change is an abiotic stressor that has already impacted many ecological communities, a pattern that is only expected to worsen over time. One characteristic of climate change is the increase in heat waves (conditions of at least two consecutive days with extremely high temperatures for the region). In this work we will evaluate whether heatwaves (abiotic stressor associated with climate change) influences bee visitation patterns mediated through plants exposed to the heatwave conditions. Understanding how heat waves are expected to influence pollinators is critically important, as it enables us to pinpoint areas for potential management (i.e. if certain plants are more susceptible to heat waves and pass on those negative impacts to pollinators, prioritizing the planting of more climate-smart species could be an important step forward). Thus, this work helps to evaluate the role of an abiotic stressor on the health of pollinators communities.

Agriculture topics: 
Insects & Mites