Natural processes influencing pollinator health

Philip Stevenson, Hauke Koch, Susan Nicolson, Mark J F Brown

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Evidence from the last few decades indicates that pollinator abundance and diversity are at risk, with many species in decline. Anthropogenic impacts have been the focus of much recent work on the causes of these declines. How- ever, natural processes, from plant chemistry, nutrition and microbial associations to landscape and habitat change, can also profoundly influence pollinator health. Here, we argue that these natural processes require greater attention and may even provide solutions to the deteriorating outlook for pol- linators. Existing studies also focus on the decline of individuals and colonies and only occasionally at population levels. In the light of this we redefine pol- linator health and argue that a top-down approach is required focusing at the ecological level of communities. We use examples from the primary research, opinion and review articles published in this special issue to illustrate how natural processes influence pollinator health, from community to individuals, and highlight where some of these processes could mitigate the challenges of anthropogenic and natural drivers of change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20210162
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1853
Early online date3 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2022

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