Potential Effects of Climate Change on Crop Pollination
One of the most important ecosystem services for sustainable crop production is the mutualistic interaction between plants and animals: pollination. The international community has acknowledged the importance of a diversity of insect pollinators to support the increased demand for food brought about by predicted population increases. Insect pollination is threatened by several environmental and anthropogenic factors, and concern has been raised over a looming potential pollination crisis.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports an approximate temperature increase ranging from 1.1-6.4°C by the end of this century. Climate change will exert great impacts on global ecosystems. A recent review has emphasized that plant-pollinator interactions can be affected by changes in climatic conditions in subtle ways. Data on the impacts of climate change on crop pollination is still limited, and no investigation has yet addressed this issue. This report aims to:
- provide a review of the literature on crop pollination, with a focus on the effects of climate change on pollinators important for global crop production;
- present an overview of available data on the temperature sensitivity of crop pollinators and entomophilous crops; and
- identify data needs and sampling techniques to answer questions related to effects of climate change on pollination, and make recommendations on the recording and management of pollinator interactions data. This includes important environmental variables that could be included in observational records in order to enhance the knowledge base on crop pollination and climate change.