Managed Pollinators

Ecological Intensification in Agroecosystems: Application of managed pollinators to crop protection and production

The use of managed pollinators to transfer all three of pollen and pest and disease control agents to the flowers of various crops is an important innovation. On crops so far tested (e.g. small and tender fruits, oils seed crops, greenhouse tomatoes and peppers) the technology improves crop quantity in yield and quality while protecting the plants from both an array of plant diseases and a variety of insect pests. On pome fruits, use of the technology improves plant health (e.g. fireblight suppression).
We propose an initial Interdisciplinary workshop to assemble an international team of experts to address how to transfer this successful technology to crops around the world and to provide a win-winwin situation for growers from cottage industry to large scale plantations. A special working group is being organized within the ICPPR to allow effective communication worldwide.

Leader

Vernon G. Thomas

Steering Committee

Peter G. Kevan

Countries involved

Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Finland, Norway, Kenya, Spain, Ghana, Israel and Jordan

IUBS Scientific Members involved in the project

International Commission for Plant Pollinator Relations (ICPPR)

Field of Research

Agriculture, Agro-ecology, Applied Ecology, Biodiversity, Agricultural economics

Questions addressed

Can pollination with pest/disease control be economically used in tropical and temperate crops alike, including greenhouse, orchard and plantation crops? The technology can be promoted, in the context of Ecological Intensification (biodiversity and ecosystem functionality) in agroecosystems. Are there additional benefits of the technology, e.g. harvest synchronicity, longer produce shelf life, higher nutritional value? The technology promotes organic/pesticide-free certifications and enhances growers’ revenues?