Using citizen science to monitor pollination services

Birkin, Linda and Goulson, Dave (2015) Using citizen science to monitor pollination services. Ecological Entomology, 40. pp. 3-11. ISSN 0307-6946

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1. Pollination by insects is a vital ecosystem service and the need for its assessment is increasing in recognition and political pressure, but there are currently no large-scale systematic monitoring schemes in place to measure the direct provision of this service.
2. This study tested a protocol for using a citizen science approach to quantify pollination service provision in gardens and allotments, requiring participants to grow Vica faba L. plants and carry out some simple manipulations of the pollination environment (flowers with bees excluded, flowers hand-pollinated, or flowers left for local pollinators to visit). Volunteers assessed yield in the three treatments.
3. Eighty participants from across the U.K. successfully completed all parts of the protocol; a further 93 participants were unsuccessful but actively engaged with the project.
4. Overall, the present results suggest that pollination services for V. faba are currently not limiting in gardens or allotments in the U.K. It is possible and cost-effective to recruit volunteers to collect data on pollination deficits using this protocol.
5. The approach used in this paper, which could readily be extended to incorporate other plant species reliant on different guilds of pollinators, is feasible for adoption as a national monitoring scheme for pollination services.

Key words. Bees, bumblebees, crop yield, ecosystem services, pollinator, urban, Viciafaba

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Depositing User: David Goulson
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 14:52
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 00:17

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