First Ever Global Risk Index Foresees Loss of Important Pollinators
The decline in pollinator populations has attracted global attention and raised concerns over the environmental impact of this decline. Scientists have prepared a Global Risk Index to determine the dangers to pollinator species and how it will affect the entire ecosystem.
The new index, which was published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, predicted the declining types of pollinator populations along with its upcoming adverse effects on biodiversity.
A pollinator is basically responsible for moving pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma of a flower, which eventually results in fertilization. Some of the important pollinators who have a high global risk index are bees, butterflies, wasps, beetles, bats and flies.
About 75 percent of crops and flowering plants are dependent on pollinators for food production. A decrease in the number of these pollinators would directly affect not only the food production but the health of entire the ecosystem would also become a matter of great concern.
According to a 2016 assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Diversity and Ecosystem Services, 40 percent of invertebrate species of pollinators are threatened on local levels.
The lead author of the study Lynn Dicks, a zoologist at Cambridge University in England, said in a press release;
What happens to pollinators could have huge knock-on effects for humanity. These small creatures play central roles in the world’s ecosystems, including many that humans and other animals rely on for nutrition. If they go, we may be in serious trouble,
The study mentioned that agricultural practices, use of pesticides, fertilizers and climate change are the major reasons leading towards the declining population of pollinators.
Climate change is already majorly affecting crop production and the decline in the population of pollinators would further add to the loss.
The researchers suggest that the human population could also be affected by the loss of pollinators especially across the region where people rely on wild plants and fruits – including Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
According to the study co-author Tom Breeze, this research exhibits that humankind doesn’t know much about pollinator decline and the impacts this has on the human community and the plant world. Further studies can unlock more secrets regarding these species and how to better protect them.