The IBIOLI, as part of the 2015 activity series, invites its members, families, friends and the general public to attend this free lecture, given by Dr Jane Stout, Associate Professor Botany, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, and titled "The Value of Pollinators".
Pollinators have become popular in the press, the general public and in political spheres.Much of the argument for supporting pollinators is based on the fact that they contribute to food production by pollinating entomophilous crops. This is valuable for several reasons: for food security for an ever expanding human population, to contribute to healthy diets as many insect-pollinated crops contain essential and desirable vitamins, to provide consumer choice and access to luxury foods, and because crop production has an economic value.
The value of pollinators as providers of a service, which is key to many terrestrial ecosystems, and indirectly to a wide range of biodiversity and ecosystem services, is often overlooked. For example, by pollinating wild plants, insect pollinators contribute to the diets of fruit and seed eating animals, enable diverse plant communities with mixtures of insect and non-insect pollinated species to persist, and non-bee pollinators perform other functions during their larval stages (such as population regulation of plants by caterpillars, and of phytophagous insects by hoverfly larvae). Thus the decline of pollinators and their conservation is not only economically important, but ecologically as well.
About the Presenter:
Dr Jane Stout has a PhD in pollination ecology from Southampton University, and has worked at Trinity College Dublin since 2001, first as an Enterprise Ireland-funded post-doctoral Research Fellow, and subsequently as Lecturer and Research Group leader.
Jane’s research focuses on understanding the links between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and the delivery of ecosystem services, which ultimately influence human livelihoods and well-being. By unravelling complexities of interactions in natural systems, particularly addressing how human activities (especially changes in land management and non-native species invasions) affect biodiversity and ecosystem services, she aims to provide a rigorous scientific basis for sustainable environmental policies and management, including sustainable agricultural practices to ensure global food security.
Most of Jane’s research uses plant-pollinator interactions as a model system and she is the leading Irish expert in bee and pollination ecology and at the forefront of the field internationally. She is an expert on the causes and consequences of bee decline and is a leading partner in the development of the All-Ireland Pollinator Strategy. Jane also played a leading role in the development of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital, which is working towards the valuation, protection and restoration of ecosystem goods and services in Ireland.