Mapping Pollination Supply and Demand to Support Local and National Decisions

Sunday, February 19, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 210 (Hynes Convention Center)
Taylor Ricketts,University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
We are learning quickly about the importance of pollinators to our national and local food systems. But to inform policy effectively, we must frame this knowledge in terms of key decisions made daily by farmers and agencies. In this talk, I will describe recent research that relates ecological supply of pollinators to economic demand for their services, at both national and local scales. I will first present a unique effort to map pollinators and pollinator-dependent crops across the United States. These maps indicate recent pollinator declines across 23% of the US land area. They also point to counties and crops facing mismatches in pollinator supply and demand, where pollinator abundance is declining while dependence on pollinators is on the rise. I will then show results from a network of more local studies working to estimate the economic value of pollinator habitats for farmers. These studies show that restoring habitats for wild pollinators within our farming landscapes can benefit both biodiversity and farmers themselves. These studies show that mapping pollinator supply and demand can support spatial and other choices to provide sustainable crop pollination.