THE POLLINATORS OF THE AEGEAN ARCHIPELAGO: DIVERSITY AND THREATS

Abstract: 

Worldwide, there is a well-documented crisis for bees and other pollinators which represent a fundamental biotic capital for wild life conservation (e.g. wild plants), ecosystem function, and crop production. Among all pollinators of the world, bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) constitute the major group in species number and importance, followed by hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae).

The Aegean constitutes one of the world's hotspots for wild bee and other pollinator diversity including flies (mainly hoverflies and bee-flies), beetles, and butterflies. Despite this advantage, our present knowledge on Greek pollinators is poor, due to a lack of focused and systematic research, absence of taxonomic keys, and a lack of taxonomic experts in the country. As a result, assessments of pollinator loss cannot be carried out and the causes for the pollinator loss in our country remain unknown. Consequently, the desperately needed National Red Data list for pollinators cannot be compiled.

The proposed research aims to contribute to the knowledge of the pollinator diversity in Greece, the threats pollinators face, as well as the impacts these threats may have on the pollination services they offer. The research will be conducted in the Aegean archipelago, on >20 islands and several mainland sites in Greece and Turkey.

Prime goals will be

  • the assessment of bee and hoverfly diversity (species, genetic) and their pollination services;
  • the effects of climate change, grazing, intensive beekeeping, fires, electromagnetic radiation on bee diversity and ecology, as well as on plant pollinator networks.

At the same time, the proposed research will contribute to the taxonomic capital in Greece, focusing on the creation of the first identification keys for pollinators, the training of new scientists, as well as the enrichment and further development of the Melissotheque of the Aegean, the permanent reference collection of insect pollinators established at the University of the Aegean.

Project info

Acronym:
POL-AEGIS
Coordinating Institution:
University of the Aegean
Scientific Coordinator:
Petanidou Theodora
Research Team 2 Leader:
Thrasyvoulou Andreas
Research Team 3 Leader:
Kokkini Stella
Research Team 4 Leader:
Sgardelis Stefanos

Stats

I.D.:
955
Mis:
376737
Duration (months):
45
Budget:
600 000.00
Diavgeia:
ΑΔΑ: Β49Α9-6ΚΧ

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