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Climate Impact on Pollination Threatens Global Food Systems

Analysis of museum records dating back to 1848 shows that climate change threatens flower pollination, on which the large majority of the world’s food production depends.

The research focused on the early spider orchid and the miner bee. The orchid depends on the bee for pollination, but the two “have become increasingly out of sync as spring temperatures rise due to global warming,” The Guardian reports.

The research, published last month in the journal Current Biology, provides “the first clear example, supported by long-term data, of the potential for climate change to disrupt critical [pollination] relationships between species,” said Dr. Karen Robbirt, of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the University of East Anglia.

Three-quarters of food crops rely on pollination, but “there will be progressive disruption of pollination systems with climatic warming, which could lead to the breakdown of co-evolved interactions between species,” said Prof. Anthony Davy, another study team member from East Anglia. (h/t to Environmental News Bits)