The Value of Pollinators – Free Lecture
The Institute of Biology of Ireland, as part of the 2015 activity series, invites its members, families, friends and the general public to attend this free lecture on ”The Value of Pollinators’. Presented by Dr Jane Stout, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, the lecture will take place on Friday November 13th 2015 at 8:00pm at the National Botanical Garden and all are welcome. Below is a brief synopsis of the lecture content:
Pollinators have become popular in the press, the general public and in political spheres. Much of the argument for supporting pollinators is based on the fact that they contribute to food production by pollinating entomophilous crops. This is valuable for several reasons: for food security for an ever expanding human population, to contribute to healthy diets as many insect-pollinated crops contain essential and desirable vitamins, to provide consumer choice and access to luxury foods, and because crop production has an economic value. The value of pollinators as providers of a service, which is key to many terrestrial ecosystems, and indirectly to a wide range of biodiversity and ecosystem services, is often overlooked. For example, by pollinating wild plants, insect pollinators contribute to the diets of fruit and seed eating animals, enable diverse plant communities with mixtures of insect and non-insect pollinated species to persist, and non-bee pollinators perform other functions during their larval stages (such as population regulation of plants by caterpillars, and of phytophagous insects by hoverfly larvae). Thus the decline of pollinators and their conservation is not only economically important, but ecologically as well.
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