Invest in pollinator monitoring for long-term gain

phys.org | 3/26/2019 | Staff
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New research shows that for every $1 invested in pollinator monitoring schemes, at least $1.50 can be saved, from otherwise costly independent research projects.

A research team from the University of Reading and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is studying how to improve pollinator monitoring in the UK in a cost-effective manner. The preliminary results are presented today at the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in Belfast.

Dr - Tom - Breeze - Researcher - University

Dr. Tom Breeze, researcher at the University of Reading, who will be presenting the research, said "The study shows that scientifically robust pollinator monitoring schemes, regardless of their size or structure, are cost-effective and add tremendous value to food security and wider scientific research".

Despite the urgent need, monitoring insect pollinators (especially wild bees and hoverflies) has often been considered too expensive to implement at a national scale. This research examines hidden benefits of monitoring schemes. By pooling data and expertise from a wide range of resources, the costs of schemes have been estimated to be between £5,600 for a small volunteer-led scheme collecting basic data and £2.8 million per year for professional monitoring of both pollinating insects and pollination to the UK's crops.

Research - Series - Methods - Benefits - Monitoring

This research combined a series of methods to examine potentially hidden benefits of monitoring schemes, in monetary terms. The authors used a type of statistical method called power analysis to assess how many sites should be sampled to be able to detect a 30% change in insect populations over 10 years, assuming each site was visited by surveyors four times per year. A 30% change was used as a conservative estimate for how pollinator populations may be projected to decrease over the next 10 years, at a rate of 3% per year.

Bioeconomic models were used to estimate the impact of pollinator losses on the yields of insect pollinated crops grown in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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