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Pollination is an essential ecosystem service linking sustainable productivity and food webs in nature, forestry, and agriculture. Without animal pollination, much familiar plant life, and the animal life that depends upon it, would cease to exist. The value of insect pollination to Canadian agriculture has been estimated at a minimum of $1Billion with about 75% attributable to honeybees (a value that underestimates the importance of native bees, with 800 species in Canada alone). Globally, pollination is directly responsible for $0.4Trillion US worth of agricultural and forestry products annually. However, these values fail to consider the costs that would result from complete or partial loss of animal pollination nationally, continentally or globally. It is no exaggeration to say the consequences would be catastrophic and extend to the collapse of other ecological services. In Canada, there is an urgent need for more information on the importance of pollination to the sustainability of the natural, forest and agricultural ecosystems and how keystone, commercially important, and rare species will respond to environmental stresses and changes.
Theme I includes two working groups. WG 1 (Pollinator Taxonomy and Conservation) is concerned with native and unmanaged pollinators, their biodiversity, taxonomy, identification, conservation and bionomics. WG 2 (Managed Pollinators) deals with managed pollinators and the health of these economically important bees, including honeybees, alfalfa leaf-cutting bees, bumblebees, orchard bees, and potentially manageable native bees. WGs 1 and 2 also considers wild flower-visiting insects with respect to practical issues such as human health, crop and livestock protection.
Expected deliverables include:
This theme comprises two working groups focused on the botanical side of pollination. WG3 (Plant Reproductive Systems and Gene Flow) will focus on insect pollinated species and WG4 (Abiotic Pollination) will focus on plants that are pollination by wind or a combination of wind and insects.
WG 5 (Ecosystems) addresses the linkages between the flora and the fauna, exploring the syn-
THEME IV - PREDICTION, ECONOMICS, AND SOCIAL ISSUES
Theme IV is comprised of two working groups. WG 7 (Prediction) is focused on the impacts of climate change and land use change, while WG 8 (Economics) addresses and the economics and social aspects associated with pollination in Canada. This theme will also address how the value of pollinators and pollination can be translated into policy and law.
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