471 research outputs found

    WorldFAIR Project (D10.1) Agriculture-related pollinator data standards use cases report

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    Although pollination is an essential ecosystem service that sustains life on Earth, data on this vital process is largely scattered or unavailable, limiting our understanding of the current state of pollinators and hindering effective actions for their conservation and sustainable management. In addition to the well-known challenges of biodiversity data management, such as taxonomic accuracy, the recording of biotic interactions like pollination presents further difficulties in proper representation and sharing. Currently, the widely-used standard for representing biodiversity data, Darwin Core, lacks properties that allow for adequately handling biotic interaction data, and there is a need for FAIR vocabularies for properly representing plant-pollinator interactions. Given the importance of mobilising plant-pollinator interaction data also for food production and security, the Research Data Alliance Improving Global Agricultural Data Community of Practice has brought together partners from representative groups to address the challenges of advancing interoperability and mobilising plant-pollinator data for reuse. This report presents an overview of projects, good practices, tools, and examples for creating, managing and sharing data related to plant-pollinator interactions, along with a work plan for conducting pilots in the next phase of the project. We present the main existing data indexing systems and aggregators for plant-pollinator interaction data, as well as citizen science and community-based sourcing initiatives. We also describe current challenges for taxonomic knowledge and present two data models and one semantic tool that will be explored in the next phase. In preparation for the next phase, which will provide best practices and FAIR-aligned guidelines for documenting and sharing plant-pollinator interactions based on pilot efforts with data, this Case Study comprehensively examined the methods and platforms used to create and share such data. By understanding the nature of data from various sources and authors, the alignment of the retrieved datasets with the FAIR principles was also taken into consideration. We discovered that a large amount of data on plant-pollinator interaction is made available as supplementary files of research articles in a diversity of formats and that there are opportunities for improving current practices for data mobilisation in this domain. The diversity of approaches and the absence of appropriate data vocabularies causes confusion, information loss, and the need for complex data interpretation and transformation. Our explorations and analyses provided valuable insights for structuring the next phase of the project, including the selection of the pilot use cases and the development of a ‘FAIR best practices’ guide for sharing plant-pollinator interaction data. This work primarily focuses on enhancing the interoperability of data on plant-pollinator interactions, envisioning its connection with the effort WorldFAIR is undertaking to develop a Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework. Visit WorldFAIR online at http://worldfair-project.eu. WorldFAIR is funded by the EC HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-41 Coordination and Support Action under Grant Agreement No. 101058393

    First large-scale quantification study of DNA preservation in insects from natural history collections using genome-wide sequencing

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    Insect declines are a global issue with significant ecological and economic ramifications. Yet, we have a poor understanding of the genomic impact these losses can have. Genome-wide data from historical specimens have the potential to provide baselines of population genetic measures to study population change, with natural history collections representing large repositories of such specimens. However, an initial challenge in conducting historical DNA data analyses is to understand how molecular preservation varies between specimens. Here, we highlight how Next-Generation Sequencing methods developed for studying archaeological samples can be applied to determine DNA preservation from only a single leg taken from entomological museum specimens, some of which are more than a century old. An analysis of genome-wide data from a set of 113 red-tailed bumblebee Bombus lapidarius specimens, from five British museum collections, was used to quantify DNA preservation over time. Additionally, to improve our analysis and further enable future research, we generated a novel assembly of the red-tailed bumblebee genome. Our approach shows that museum entomological specimens are comprised of short DNA fragments with mean lengths below 100 base pairs (BP), suggesting a rapid and large-scale post-mortem reduction in DNA fragment size. After this initial decline, however, we find a relatively consistent rate of DNA decay in our dataset, and estimate a mean reduction in fragment length of 1.9 bp per decade. The proportion of quality filtered reads mapping to our assembled reference genome was around 50%, and decreased by 1.1% per decade. We demonstrate that historical insects have significant potential to act as sources of DNA to create valuable genetic baselines. The relatively consistent rate of DNA degradation, both across collections and through time, mean that population-level analyses—for example for conservation or evolutionary studies—are entirely feasible, as long as the degraded nature of DNA is accounted for

    Pollinator-flower interactions in gardens during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020

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    During the main COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown period of 2020 an impromptu set of pollination ecologists came together via social media and personal contacts to carry out standardised surveys of the flower visits and plants in gardens. The surveys involved 67 rural, suburban and urban gardens, of various sizes, ranging from 61.18° North in Norway to 37.96° South in Australia, resulting in a data set of 25,174 rows, with each row being a unique interaction record for that date/site/plant species, and comprising almost 47,000 visits to flowers, as well as records of flowers that were not visited by pollinators, for over 1,000 species and varieties belonging to more than 460 genera and 96 plant families. The more than 650 species of flower visitors belong to 12 orders of invertebrates and four of vertebrates. In this first publication from the project, we present a brief description of the data and make it freely available for any researchers to use in the future, the only restriction being that they cite this paper in the first instance. The data generated from these global surveys will provide scientific evidence to help us understand the role that private gardens (in urban, rural and suburban areas) can play in conserving insect pollinators and identify management actions to enhance their potential

    Pollinator-flower interactions in gardens during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020

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    During the main COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown period of 2020 an impromptu set of pollination ecologists came together via social media and personal contacts to carry out standardised surveys of the flower visits and plants in gardens. The surveys involved 67 rural, suburban and urban gardens, of various sizes, ranging from 61.18° North in Norway to 37.96° South in Australia, resulting in a data set of 25,174 rows, with each row being a unique interaction record for that date/site/plant species, and comprising almost 47,000 visits to flowers, as well as records of flowers that were not visited by pollinators, for over 1,000 species and varieties belonging to more than 460 genera and 96 plant families. The more than 650 species of flower visitors belong to 12 orders of invertebrates and four of vertebrates. In this first publication from the project, we present a brief description of the data and make it freely available for any researchers to use in the future, the only restriction being that they cite this paper in the first instance. The data generated from these global surveys will provide scientific evidence to help us understand the role that private gardens (in urban, rural and suburban areas) can play in conserving insect pollinators and identify management actions to enhance their potential

    Pollinator-flower interactions in gardens during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020

    No full text
    During the main COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown period of 2020 an impromptu set of pollination ecologists came together via social media and personal contacts to carry out standardised surveys of the flower visits and plants in gardens. The surveys involved 67 rural, suburban and urban gardens, of various sizes, ranging from 61.18° North in Norway to 37.96° South in Australia, resulting in a data set of 25,174 rows, with each row being a unique interaction record for that date/site/plant species, and comprising almost 47,000 visits to flowers, as well as records of flowers that were not visited by pollinators, for over 1,000 species and varieties belonging to more than 250 genera and 110 plant families. The more than 650 species of flower visitors belong to 12 orders of invertebrates and four of vertebrates. In this first publication from the project, we present a brief description of the data and make it freely available for any researchers to use in the future, the only restriction being that they cite this paper in the first instance. The data generated from these global surveys will provide scientific evidence to help us understand the role that private gardens (in urban, rural and suburban areas) can play in conserving insect pollinators and identify management actions to enhance their potential

    Inferring trends in pollinator distributions across the Neotropics from publicly available data remains challenging despite mobilization efforts

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    Aim: Aggregated species occurrence data are increasingly accessible through public databases for the analysis of temporal trends in the geographic distributions of species. However, biases in these data present challenges for statistical inference. We assessed potential biases in data available through GBIF on the occurrences of four flower-visiting taxa: bees (Anthophila), hoverflies (Syrphidae), leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae) and hummingbirds (Trochilidae). We also assessed whether and to what extent data mobilization efforts improved our ability to estimate trends in species' distributions. Location: The Neotropics. Methods: We used five data-driven heuristics to screen the data for potential geographic, temporal and taxonomic biases. We began with a continental-scale assessment of the data for all four taxa. We then identified two recent data mobilization efforts (2021) that drastically increased the quantity of records of bees collected in Chile available through GBIF. We compared the dataset before and after the addition of these new records in terms of their biases and estimated trends in species' distributions. Results: We found evidence of potential sampling biases for all taxa. The addition of newly-mobilized records of bees in Chile decreased some biases but introduced others. Despite increasing the quantity of data for bees in Chile sixfold, estimates of trends in species' distributions derived using the postmobilization dataset were broadly similar to what would have been estimated before their introduction, albeit more precise. Main conclusions: Our results highlight the challenges associated with drawing robust inferences about trends in species' distributions using publicly available data. Mobilizing historic records will not always enable trend estimation because more data do not necessarily equal less bias. Analysts should carefully assess their data before conducting analyses: this might enable the estimation of more robust trends and help to identify strategies for effective data mobilization. Our study also reinforces the need for targeted monitoring of pollinators worldwide

    Food System Resilience: Concepts, Issues, and Challenges

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    Food system resilience has multiple dimensions. We draw on food system and resilience concepts and review resilience framings of different communities. We present four questions to frame food system resilience (Resilience of what? Resilience to what? Resilience from whose perspective? Resilience for how long?) and three approaches to enhancing resilience (robustness, recovery, and reorientation—the three “Rs”). We focus on enhancing resilience of food system outcomes and argue this will require food system actors adapting their activities, noting that activities do not change spontaneously but in response to a change in drivers: an opportunity or a threat. However, operationalizing resilience enhancement involves normative choices and will result in decisions having to be negotiated about trade-offs among food system outcomes for different stakeholders. New approaches to including different food system actors’ perceptions and goals are needed to build food systems that are better positioned to address challenges of the future

    Rapid assessment of insect pollination services to inform decision-making.

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    Pollinator declines have prompted efforts to assess how land-use change affects insect pollinators and pollination services in agricultural landscapes. Yet many tools to measure insect pollination services require substantial landscape-scale data and technical expertise. In expert workshops, 3 straightforward methods (desk-based method, field survey, and empirical manipulation with exclusion experiments) for rapid insect pollination assessment at site scale were developed to provide an adaptable framework that is accessible to nonspecialist with limited resources. These methods were designed for TESSA (Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-Based Assessment) and allow comparative assessment of pollination services at a site of conservation interest and in its most plausible alternative state (e.g., converted to agricultural land). We applied the methods at a nature reserve in the United Kingdom to estimate the value of insect pollination services provided by the reserve. The economic value of pollination services provided by the reserve ranged from US6163toUS6163 to US11,546/year. The conversion of the reserve to arable land would provide no insect pollination services and a net annual benefit from insect-pollinated crop production of approximately 1542/year(US1542/year (US24∙ha-1 ∙year-1 ). The methods had wide applicability and were readily adapted to different insect-pollinated crops: rape (Brassica napus) and beans (Vicia faba) crops. All methods were rapidly employed under a low budget. The relatively less robust methods that required fewer resources yielded higher estimates of annual insect pollination benefit

    Signatures of increasing environmental stress in bumblebee wings over the past century: Insights from museum specimens

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    1. Determining when animal populations have experienced stress in the past is fundamental to understanding how risk factors drive contemporary and future species’ responses to environmental change. For insects, quantifying stress and associating it with environmental factors has been challenging due to a paucity of time-series data and because detectable population-level responses can show varying lag effects. One solution is to leverage historic entomological specimens to detect morphological proxies of stress experienced at the time stressors emerged, allowing us to more accurately determine population responses. 2. Here we studied specimens of four bumblebee species, an invaluable group of insect pollinators, from five museums collected across Britain over the 20th century. We calculated the degree of fluctuating asymmetry (FA; random deviations from bilateral symmetry) between the right and left forewings as a potential proxy of developmental stress. 3. We: i) investigated whether baseline FA levels vary between species, and how this compares between the first and second half of the century; ii) determined the extent of FA change over the century in the four bumblebee species, and whether this followed a linear or non-linear trend; iii) tested which annual climatic conditions correlated with increased FA in bumblebees. 4. Species differed in their baseline FA, with FA being higher in the two species that have recently expanded their ranges in Britain. Overall, FA significantly increased over the century but followed a non-linear trend, with the increase starting c. 1925. We found relatively warm and wet years were associated with higher FA. 5. Collectively our findings show that FA in bumblebees increased over the 20th century and under weather conditions that will likely increase in frequency with climate change. By plotting FA trends and quantifying the contribution of annual climate conditions on past populations, we provide an important step towards improving our understanding of how environmental factors could impact future populations of wild beneficial insects
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