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and can reduce requirements for fertiliser. Crops can be planted to allow soil recovery and support soil organism development, such as legumes like clover (Trifolium), or scorpionweed (Phacelia). Improved soil functions can result in a greater diversity and occurrence of flowering plants, this is of course of value to pollinator species.

Cherry blossom

Pollinators require shelter, food and breeding areas; they are mobile creatures so these resources may be located all within a single field, or spread over a local area. However, the f light range of non-migratory pollinators is limited, so local resource diversity is not just advantageous, but an important element for pollinator health.

The range of non-migratory pollinators is limited, so local resource diversity is not just advantageous, but an important element for pollinator health.

The land that surrounds and divides cultivated areas has tremendous capacity for pollinator promotion. Pollinators can benefit from increased habitat and food provision where buffer zones (uncultivated vegetation next to water bodies) are established. Multifunctional landscape elements such as buffer zones and managed field margins also serve to improve the connectivity of green infrastructure, which is of value to biodiversity in general.

Figure 13: Hierarchy of factors which influence the diversity of pollinators in Europe • Competition • Parasitism • Mutual support

Agricultural practices

• Cropping regime • Field border & nutrients • Pesticides

Landscape factors

• Resource availability • Flower-rich biotopes • Inconspicuous biotopes

General direction of influence

Species-specific factors

Macro-ecological factors

• Biogeographic zone • Climate change

Socio-economic factors

• Market change • Policies and directives • Urbanisation • Globalisation • Education / information / motivation

Pollinators and agriculture 

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Profile for ECPA

Pollinators & Agriculture  

Agricultural productivity and pollinator protection - Around 70% of the world’s most produced crop species rely to some extent on insect pol...

Pollinators & Agriculture  

Agricultural productivity and pollinator protection - Around 70% of the world’s most produced crop species rely to some extent on insect pol...