Pollination by hoverflies in the Anthropocene: pollination by hoverflies

Doyle, Toby, Hawkes, Will L.S., Massy, Richard, Powney, Gary D., Menz, Myles H.M., and Wotton, Karl R. (2020) Pollination by hoverflies in the Anthropocene: pollination by hoverflies. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 287 (1927). 20200508.

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Abstract

Pollinator declines, changes in land use and climate-induced shifts in phenology have the potential to seriously affect ecosystem function and food security by disrupting pollination services provided by insects. Much of the current research focuses on bees, or groups other insects together as 'non-bee pollinators', obscuring the relative contribution of this diverse group of organisms. Prominent among the 'non-bee pollinators' are the hoverflies, known to visit at least 72% of global food crops, which we estimate to be worth around US$300 billion per year, together with over 70% of animal pollinated wildflowers. In addition, hoverflies provide ecosystem functions not seen in bees, such as crop protection from pests, recycling of organic matter and long-distance pollen transfer. Migratory species, in particular, can be hugely abundant and unlike many insect pollinators, do not yet appear to be in serious decline. In this review, we contrast the roles of hoverflies and bees as pollinators, discuss the need for research and monitoring of different pollinator responses to anthropogenic change and examine emerging research into large populations of migratory hoverflies, the threats they face and how they might be used to improve sustainable agriculture.

Item ID: 71336
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: agriculture, hoverfly, insect declines, migration, pollination, Syrphidae
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2022 22:52
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 100%
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