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Status of Pollinators in North America STATUS OF POLLINATORS IN NORTH AMERICA Committee on the Status of Pollinators in North America Board on Life Sciences Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Status of Pollinators in North America THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) under Award No. 59-0790-3-201 and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) under Grant Agreement No. 03HQGR0131. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the USDA-ARS or USGS, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-10289-6 (Book) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-10289-8 (Book) International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-66381-6 (PDF) International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-66381-4 (PDF) Library of Congress Control Number: 2006940682 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2007 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Cover: Design by Van Nguyen. Photo credits clockwise from top left: hummingbird by W. May; sphinx moth by W. May; bat by Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, reprinted with permission; bee by David Inouye, University of Maryland, College Park.
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Status of Pollinators in North America THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Status of Pollinators in North America COMMITTEE ON STATUS OF POLLINATORS IN NORTH AMERICA MAY BERENBAUM (Chair), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign PETER BERNHARDT, St. Louis University, Missouri STEPHEN BUCHMANN, University of Arizona, Tucson NICHOLAS W. CALDERONE, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York PAUL GOLDSTEIN, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville DAVID W. INOUYE, University of Maryland, College Park PETER KEVAN, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada CLAIRE KREMEN, University of California, Berkeley RODRIGO A. MEDELLÍN, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City TAYLOR RICKETTS, World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C. GENE E. ROBINSON, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign ALLISON A. SNOW, Ohio State University, Columbus SCOTT M. SWINTON, Michigan State University, East Lansing LEONARD B. THIEN, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana F. CHRISTIAN THOMPSON, Systematic Entomology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. Staff EVONNE P.Y. TANG, Study Director FRANCES E. SHARPLES, Director, Board on Life Sciences ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources PEGGY TSAI, Associate Program Officer KAREN IMHOF, Administrative Assistant KATE KELLY, Editor PAULA WHITACRE, Editor
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Status of Pollinators in North America BOARD ON LIFE SCIENCES KEITH YAMAMOTO (Chair), University of California, San Francisco ANN M. ARVIN, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California JEFFREY L. BENNETZEN, University of Georgia, Athens RUTH BERKELMAN, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia DEBORAH BLUM, University of Wisconsin, Madison R. ALTA CHARO, University of Wisconsin, Madison JEFFREY L. DANGL, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill PAUL R. EHRLICH, Stanford University, Stanford, California MARK D. FITZSIMMONS, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, Illinois JO HANDELSMAN, University of Wisconsin, Madison ED HARLOW, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis RANDALL MURCH, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Alexandria GREGORY A. PETSKO, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts MURIEL E. POSTON, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York JAMES REICHMAN, University of California, Santa Barbara MARC T. TESSIER-LAVIGNE, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California JAMES TIEDJE, Michigan State University, East Lansing TERRY L. YATES, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Staff FRANCES E. SHARPLES, Director KERRY A. BRENNER, Senior Program Officer ANN H. REID, Senior Program Officer MARILEE K. SHELTON-DAVENPORT, Senior Program Officer EVONNE P.Y. TANG, Senior Program Officer ROBERT T. YUAN, Senior Program Officer ADAM P. FAGEN, Program Officer ANNA FARRAR, Financial Associate ANNE F. JURKOWSKI, Senior Program Assistant TOVA G. JACOBOVITS, Senior Program Assistant
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Status of Pollinators in North America BOARD ON AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES W. REG GOMES (Chair), University of California, Oakland SANDRA J. BARTHOLMEY, University of Illinois, Chicago ROGER N. BEACHY, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri H. H. CHENG, University of Minnesota, St. Paul BRUCE L. GARDNER, University of Maryland, College Park JEAN HALLORAN, Consumer Policy Institute/Consumers Union, Yonkers, New York HANS R. HERREN, Millennium Institute, Arlington, Virginia KIRK C. KLASING, University of California, Davis BRIAN W. MCBRIDE, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada TERRY L. MEDLEY, E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, Delaware ROBERT PAARLBERG, Wellesley College, Watertown, Massachusetts ALICE N. PELL, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York BOBBY PHILLS, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee SONYA B. SALAMON, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign HAL SALWASSER, Oregon State University, Corvallis PEDRO A. SANCHEZ, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York B. L. TURNER, II, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts LAURIAN UNNEVEHR, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign JAW-KAI WANG, University of Hawaii, Honolulu TILAHUN D. YILMA, University of California, Davis Staff ROBIN A. SCHOEN, Director AUSTIN J. LEWIS, Program Officer MICHAEL MA, Program Officer PEGGY TSAI, Associate Program Officer RUTH S. ARIETI, Senior Project Assistant KAREN L. IMHOF, Administrative Assistant
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Status of Pollinators in North America Preface The magnitude and direction of all manner of anthropogenic global environmental change have lately come to dominate the national conversation: at the movies, on the Internet, and in the press. Entering the term “environmental crisis” on Google generates close to 52 million hits, and the debate is raging over the validity of various projections of consequences and diverse proposals for remediation. Of the multitude of ways humans could be harming the planet, however, one that has largely been ignored is the “pollinator crisis”—the perceived global decline in the number and viability of animal species that facilitate reproduction of flowering plants, the overwhelming majority of plants in terrestrial communities. In her hugely influential book Silent Spring published more than 40 years ago, Rachel Carson recognized the central role of pollinators. They are the proverbial birds and the bees, along with many other insect species and even a handful of mammals, that maintain human health and terrestrial biodiversity. Carson painted a bleak picture of a world with “fruitless falls.” In the intervening decades, reports have quietly accumulated from virtually every continent of shortages or extinction of pollinators of various descriptions. Ironically, despite its apparent lack of marquee appeal, pollinator decline is one form of global change that actually does have credible potential to alter the shape and structure of the terrestrial world. Over the past decade, the public has begun to take notice and ask whether a pollinator crisis is brewing and, if so, what can be done to avert it. The National Research Council, in keeping with its charter to provide independent, objective analysis and advice on scientific matters of national importance, took on this issue at the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S.
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Status of Pollinators in North America Geological Survey and commissioned a study; overseeing the study process were the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Board on Life Sciences. Because the efforts of pollination are so pervasive ecologically and economically, the committee charged with assessing the status of pollinators required representation of a breadth of interests and abilities. The 15 members came from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and their expertise encompasses ecology, population biology, ethology, genetics, evolutionary biology, botany, entomology, systematics, agricultural economics, apiculture, and conservation biology (Appendix A). The committee devoted more than a year to examining literature, meeting with the experts who are most familiar with the lives of pollinators, and meeting with people whose livelihoods depend on pollinator activities. Evonne Tang, Senior Program Officer for the Board of Life Sciences, labored brilliantly and tirelessly to arrange meetings, secure information, make contacts, and reconcile and edit numerous versions of the report. Fran Sharples, Director of the Board on Life Sciences, was generous with administrative, scientific, and moral support. From the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Robin Schoen, director; Karen Imhof, administrative assistant; and Peggy Tsai, research associate, provided invaluable guidance, organizational effort, and logistical assistance in support of the project It seems particularly appropriate that a study examining the health and well-being of the premier ecological mutualism on the planet should result from mutual respect and cooperation among a group of dedicated scholars. That the conclusions reached by the committee and presented in this report will inspire a rash of Hollywood disaster films is extremely unlikely—tidal waves, floods, fires, and explosions still remain inherently more cinematic than just about anything involving flowers, birds, bees, and butterflies—but it is to be hoped that the recommendations will inspire discussion and action nonetheless. May Berenbaum Chair, Committee on the Status of Pollinators in North America
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Status of Pollinators in North America Acknowledgments This report is a product of the cooperation and contributions of many people. The members of the committee thank all of the speakers who attended its first committee meeting on July 6, 2005, the workshop on October 18–19, 2005, and the third committee meeting on January 14, 2006 and others who provided information and input. (Appendix B presents a list of presentations to the committee.) This report has been reviewed in draft form by persons chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards of objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following for their review of this report: Deane Bowers, University of Colorado, Boulder Susan Mazer, University of California, Santa Barbara Robert Page, Arizona State University Peter Raven, Missouri Botanical Garden Malcolm Sanford (retired), University of Florida Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota James Thomson, University of Toronto Nickolas Waser, University of California, Riverside
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Status of Pollinators in North America Don Wilson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ada Wossink, North Carolina State University Although the reviewers listed above provided constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Drs. Frederic L. Gould and Mary Jane Osborn. Appointed by the National Research Council, Drs. Gould and Osborn were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author committee and the institution.
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Status of Pollinators in North America Contents SUMMARY 1 1 ROLE AND IMPORTANCE OF POLLINATORS 13 Pollinators in Natural and Agricultural Ecosystems, 16 Population Management, 18 Value of Pollination, 22 State of Knowledge, 25 History of Concern, 26 Charge to the Committee, 33 2 STATUS OF POLLINATORS 34 Pollinators and the Concept of Decline, 34 Population Trends, 35 Conclusions, 73 3 CAUSES OF POLLINATOR DECLINES AND POTENTIAL THREATS 75 Decline in Actively Managed Pollinators, 75 Decline in Natural or Wild Pollinators, 87 Conclusions, 103 4 EFFECTS OF VARIATIONS IN POLLINATOR POPULATIONS ON POLLINATION SERVICES 104 Pollinators in Agriculture, 104
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Status of Pollinators in North America Pollinators in Natural Areas, 119 Conclusions, 129 5 MONITORING POLLINATOR POPULATIONS AND SERVICES 131 Review and Assessment of Current Monitoring Programs, 131 Requirements for Adequate Monitoring of Pollinators and Pollination Function, 140 Conclusions, 153 6 STRATEGIES FOR MAINTAINING POLLINATORS AND POLLINATION SERVICES 155 Maintaining Commercial Pollinators, 156 Maintaining Wild Pollinators, 171 Maintaining Pollination Services, 185 Public Policy and Pollinator Populations, 190 Adaptive Management and Pollinator Monitoring, 194 Conclusions, 194 7 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 196 Managed Pollinators, 197 Wild Pollinators, 201 GLOSSARY 208 REFERENCES 215 APPENDIXES A Committee Biographies 275 B Presentations to the Committee 282 C Recently Extinct Insects from Around the World 285 D Endangered Insects in the Continental United States 287 E Bee Species in Decline in North America 289 F Meetings and Conferences on Pollinator Issues 1979–2006 290 G Methods for Analyzing Status of Pollinators 293 H Xerces Society Red List of Pollinating Insects of North America 298 I Annual Bee Variability of Bee Abundances 307