The pollination services of forests: A review of forest and landscape interventions to enhance their cross-sectoral benefits

  • 01/06/2020
  • FAO

Most flowering plants, including wild species and many food crops, are pollinated by animals and are vital, therefore, for biological production and the maintenance of biodiversity. Pollinators benefit from diverse natural habitats for forage and nesting, especially when these are limited in plant production systems. Landscape and forest management practices can help ensure the continued availability of pollinators and thereby increase resilience and the productivity of forestry and agriculture. The extent of forests and other natural habitats in a landscape plays a role in determining the species composition of pollinators. Agricultural landscapes adjoining fragmented forests and natural areas benefit from pollinator services, and animal-pollinated crops therefore achieve higher fruit set.Forest management practices can have significant effects on pollinator abundance and diversity. They affect forest variables such as structure, species composition, soil dynamics, hydrology and light availability, all of which can affect pollinator species composition and diversity and plant–pollinator networks. Indigenous and local knowledge can contribute to the conservation of pollinators through traditional management practices. This working paper, which is aimed at forest practitioners, landscape planners and land-use decision-makers, reviews published literature on the impacts of forest and landscape management practices on pollinators. It also addresses the implications of climate change, collates 36 case studies, and makes recommendation on measures for maintaining pollinator diversity and abundance in forests and landscapes.