Pollination service delivery for European crops: Challenges and opportunities
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Crop pollination by bees has long been recognized as an ecosystem service of huge economic value; a large number of food crops depend upon pollination. Features across landscapes that are important for pollination delivery include: nesting habitats, floral resource availability at foraging distance, and climate. The conditions for presence/absence of pollinators are therefore complex and rely upon a combination of biotic and abiotic factors. To date there has been no easily available method for landowners to determine the potential of pollination delivery across the land effectively and rapidly. In this paper we develop a method that uses freely available datasets to remotely estimate the relative provision of pollination service delivery provided by bees across Europe at a 300 m-pixel resolution. We then identify the potential pollination delivery and efficiency across Europe at country and regional level. This study illustrates an approach that obtains a first approximation for land managers to identify potential areas across landscapes to protect in order to enhance pollination service delivery.