Pollinators are the unsung heroes of the natural world. For millions of years they have provided a vital ecosystem service, without which our agricultural economies, food supply, and surrounding landscapes would simply collapse.
This striking collection features the “big five”: bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and beetles, all of which play a vital role in the pollination of over 75% of all flowering plant species.
Simply by moving pollen within flowers and from bloom to bloom, pollinators ensure that plants produce full-bodied fruit and a full set of viable seeds. Indeed, they're responsible for one in three bites of food we eat, including apples, blueberries, chocolate, coffee, melons, peaches, potatoes, pumpkins, and almonds. Hundreds of vital plants grown for beverages, fibers, oils, spices, and medicines also rely on pollinators for reproduction. Pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, sequester carbon, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife.
Worldwide there is disturbing evidence that pollinators have suffered from loss of habitat, chemical use, introduced and invasive plant and animal species, diseases and parasites, and climate change. While there are well-documented declines in some wild and managed pollinators in several regions of the world (Potts et al 2016), lack of research has hindered our knowledge of such topics as the status of pollinators and the importance of pollinator diversity to the reproductive success of flowering plants. This collection aims to help raise awareness of the critical importance of pollinators to life on Earth, and support ongoing research and stewardship efforts.
Commit to the four simple steps to protecting pollinators: Grow pollinator-friendly flowers, provide nest sites, avoid pesticides, and spread the word!
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