Through various experiments in natural pastures and in cages on a seeded experimental site, we are trying to better understand what a reduction in pollinators means for wild plants.
Pollinating insects such as wild bees are vulnerable to changes in land use and climate. In the DrivenByPollinators project, we investigate how lack of pollinator availability can affect pollination and seed production of wild plants, and how this in turn affects plant species composition and ecosystem functions such as grassland productivity.
In the first part of the project (WP1), we focus on interactions between plants and insects in eighteen natural pastures located in different parts of Skåne that differ in how the surrounding land is used. Here we utilise both the existing variation in the number and diversity of pollinators in the natural pastures, and introduce extra variation by experimentally reducing the availability of pollinators in part of each area.
The second part of the project (WP2) is carried out on a trial site in Borgeby with 48 cages with and without pollinators, as well as different levels of fertilisation and herbivorous insects, where we follow how pollinators affect the development of newly established vegetation consisting of a diversity of wild plants.
In the last part of the project (WP3), we use computer modelling to bring together the knowledge we have gathered in the other parts of the project, to make it easier to understand where in the landscape deficiencies in wild plant pollination can be expected.
DrivenByPollinators is a five-year project launched in September 2019 and funded by the European Research Council (ERC).
Involved researchers and institutions
DrivenByPollinators involves researchers from CEC and the Department of Biology, including the Biological Museum, at Lund University. The links go to the Lund University research portal.
This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 819374).