How can an understanding of plant–pollinator interactions contribute to global food security? A new discussion paper

Megachile on lambs ear 2015-06-29 18.16.49

A new discussion/review paper that I contributed to has just been published in the journal Current Opinion in Plant Biology.  Entitled “How can an understanding of plant–pollinator interactions contribute to global food security?” the paper was written in collaboration with Professor Beverley Glover and her PhD students Emily Bailes and Jonathan Pattrick at the University of Cambridge.

The abstract and highlights are copied below; if anyone wants a PDF of the full paper, send me an email or ask in the comments section.


Pollination of crops by animals is an essential part of global food production, but evidence suggests that wild pollinator populations may be declining while a number of problems are besetting managed honey bee colonies. Animal-pollinated crops grown today, bred in an environment where pollination was less likely to limit fruit set, are often suboptimal in attracting and sustaining their pollinator populations. Research into plant–pollinator interactions is often conducted in a curiosity-driven, ecological framework, but may inform breeding and biotechnological approaches to enhance pollinator attraction and crop yield. In this article we review key topics in current plant–pollinator research that have potential roles in future crop breeding for enhanced global food security.


  • Animals are globally, and increasingly, important for the improved yield and quality of many crops.
  • Floral traits are a promising and little explored avenue for the improvement of crop yields.
  • Work surrounding plant–pollinator interactions can inform us on the best strategies to do this.
  • Coordinating crop flowering time with key lifecycle stages of pollinators could benefit both crop yields and pollinators.


Filed under Bees, Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Honey bees, Hoverflies, Pollination

29 responses to “How can an understanding of plant–pollinator interactions contribute to global food security? A new discussion paper

  1. Evelyn Underwood

    Dear Jeff

    I would be very interested in a pdf of this paper.

    With thanks
    Evelyn Underwood

    Evelyn Underwood | Policy Analyst | Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Programme
    +44 (0)20 7340 2675 | | Skype: evelynunderwood
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    Liked by 1 person

  2. don harvey

    Please send me a pdf of this article.


  3. Rebecca Holdsworth

    Could I please have the PDF, my email is,

    thank you very much, looking forward to reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laurie

    Hi there Jeff – this looks like a fascinating read, I would love a pdf ( – many thanks! – Laurie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Jeff,
    I am also very interested in a pdf of this paper!
    Thanks! Laura

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i would like to read te PDF. Thanks! Marion.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lynfa Davies

    I would be interested in reading this review. My email is
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: How can an understanding of plant–pollinator interactions contribute to global food security? A new discussion paper | Jeff Ollerton’s Biodiversity Blog | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  9. Dear Jeff,
    I would love having a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I would love to read the paper please Jeff!
    My email address is
    Thank you!

    P.S. I really enjoy your blog. Keep these posts coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks for useful and timely publication to read full text ,Please do send pdf.


  12. Hilary Conlan

    I have recently pointed to your blog and found it really useful/enjoyable. Please can you send me a pdf copy of the paper as it is in line with my studies. thanks Hilary.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Michael

    I would love to read this article, thanks


  14. gretchen graber

    Hi Jeff, would you kindly send me a copy of your paper- Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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