Key tropical crops at risk from pollinator loss due to climate change and land use

January 06, 2023 | Science Advances |

Conducted by the Natural History Museum, UK, and University College London, UK, this study delves into the dynamic landscape of insect pollinator biodiversity, focusing on its implications for crop pollination. The research explores the intricate interplay between land use patterns and climate change and their impact on pollinator abundance and richness, shedding light on the potential economic ramifications for crop pollination.

Analyzing a comprehensive dataset comprising 2,673 sites and 3,080 insect pollinator species, the study unveils significant reductions in insect pollinators, particularly in regions where agriculture and climate change intersect. The findings suggest that tropical regions face the highest risk of crop production disruption due to pollinator losses. Notably, regions in sub-Saharan Africa, northern South America, and Southeast Asia are projected to experience the most substantial and rapid increase in localized risk.

These insights underscore the critical role of pollinators in sustaining agricultural productivity and highlight the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change and land use practices on insect pollinator populations and, consequently, human well-being.

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