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uni'wissen 01-2016_ENG

Further Reading Rader, R.  / Batomeus, I. /  Garibaldi, L. A. et  al. (2016): Non-bee insects are important contributors to global crop pollination. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 113/1, pp. 146–151. doi: 10.1073/ pnas.1517092112. Klein, A. M. (2015): Was wäre, wenn? Die Bedeutung von Bienen und anderen Bestäu- bern für unsere Ernährung. In: ADIZ – Die Bi- ene – Imkerfreund 12/2015, pp. 14–18. Garibaldi, L. A. / Steffan-Dewenter, I. /  Winfree, R. et al. (2013): Wild pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey-bee abundance.  In: Science 339/6127, pp. 1608–1611. doi: 10.1126/science.1230200 339:1608-1611. and hazel shrubs as a complement to flower strips in agricultural landscapes. However, the combination of flowers has to meet the needs of the winged visitors. “Not every plant with a pretty flower is useful for the insects.” Billions of Euros in Damage Klein is well aware of how important pollinat- ing insect species are for ecosystems. Were winged pollinators to have disappeared entirely by 2005, the cost of the damage would have amounted to 153 billion euros worldwide, as French and German scientists calculated in a study presented in 2008. According to a 2013 study co-authored by Klein, the damages would cost around 1.6 billion euros a year in Germany alone. “Apart from the financial damages, we can also calculate the negative consequences on human food production,” says the researcher. If there weren’t any bees to pollinate apple trees, for example, the apple harvest would be reduced by 75 percent, because only few apple tree vari- eties are self-pollinating. The disappearance of crops dependent on pollination would leave us without an important source of vitamins and min- erals and encourage the development of diseas- es caused by malnutrition – which could become a major problem particularly for developing countries. Moreover, hand pollination or induced Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein studied biology in Göttingen and earned her doctorate with a disserta- tion on the pollination of coffee plants in Indonesia. After stints in Ecuador, the USA, and at the Univer- sities of Göttingen and Lüneburg, she was appoint- ed as professor of nature conservation and landscape ecology at the University of Freiburg. Her research group focuses on the ecology, socioeconomics, and nature conservation of ecosystems and land- scapes. Klein has received a number of awards for her research, including the Cultura Prize from the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, whose mission includes advocating sustainable land use in Europe. Photo: Thomas Kunz self-pollination would cause an undesirable shift in the vitamin spectrum of the fruits. “Strawberry plants pollinated by insects show their apprecia- tion by producing fruits that keep longer.” Honeybees (top), wild bees (middle), and other insects (bottom) all have a similar degree of effectiveness worldwide (A). However, honeybees and other insects visit more flowers than wild bees (B). In addition, honeybees and wild bees pollinate each flower they visit more effectively than other insects (C). Source: modified from Rader et al. 2016; bee illustrations: Anika Hudewenz A Overall effectiveness Visits in percent Effectiveness per visit B C -1.0 -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 -2 -1 0 1 215 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 23 10.1126/science.1230200339:1608-1611. -1.0 - -2 -10121520253035404550