Animal pollinators are essential to the reproduction of most wild plants and most crop plants. Even though domesticated honey bees (Apis mellifera) are likely the most important species for agricultural pollination, native wild species also make substantial contributions to crop pollination, and could be an important component of sustainable agriculture. However, native pollinators remain poorly understood in terms of their habitat needs, their response to global change, and their role in crop production. In this project I will first study the habitat needs of New Jersey's approximately 350 species of native bees, and develop pollinator-friendly land management guidelines for government agencies and private landowners. Second, I will conduct landscape-scale field studies to measure the response of native pollinator communities to global change drivers, primarily land-use change and climate change. Third, I will assess which native bee species pollinate different crops in New Jersey and for select crops elsewhere - including an important biofuel crop, canola (Brassica napus and rapa), which is rapidly expanding in production throughout North America.
|Effective start/end date||12/3/13 → 9/30/18|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))