Towards 'crop-pollinating' landscapes: quantifying pollen supply and demand to manage wild pollinators for their benefits to food production

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Biological Sciences

Abstract

Three quarters of the world's important crops, or 35% of all food produced by volume, depends on animal pollinators. This includes many fruits, vegetables, nuts and oils. Recently, scientists have found that most crop pollination in the world is carried out by a small group of bee species, called the 'dominant crop pollinators'. In the UK, no more than 20 species are doing most of the work. One is the honey bee, kept by beekeepers. The others are wild species found commonly in farmland.

Yet numbers of wild bee species found in each place are declining. One of the main reasons for this decline is loss of wild flowers in the countryside, which was dramatic in the twentieth century in the UK. In particular, the loss of flowering plants in the pea and bean family, which have protein-rich pollen, is thought to have caused trouble for wild bee species. Bees rely entirely on food from flowers - nectar and pollen - to survive and raise their young. Nectar is a sugar syrup, and provides them energy to fly and grow. Pollen provides most of the protein, a crucial resource for growing larvae.

One way to help pollinators is by planting extra flowers. This has been shown to increase the numbers of dominant crop pollinators, and can even lead to improvements in crop yield. At the moment scientists don't know how much, or what types of pollen wild bees need to survive at different times of year, and have very little idea how much pollen is already supplied by existing landscapes. Some think there are particular times of year, such as early spring or late summer, when pollen is especially limiting, and adding flowers would really help bees.

This research uses very new scientific techniques to quantify the demand for and supply of pollen in farmland. One exciting development is that scientists have just made a library of DNA sequences from all 1,479 of UK native plants. This makes it possible to identify plant species in bee-collected pollen, by putting the pollen into a sequencing machine. It's called DNA metabarcoding. Early results for honey bees show that pollen from trees could be more important at the start of the year than was previously thought. This research will document all the plants that red-tailed and early bumblebee colonies use over at least two years.

A series of experiments with bumblebees in the laboratory will test how much and what kind of pollen are needed to raise individual larvae, or supply a healthy colony. Combining this information with the pollen sources they choose in real landscapes will allow me to accurately calculate pollen demand by these crop-pollinating bumblebees.

To quantify pollen supply in an area of farmland, I will use image processing techniques borrowed from cell biology to measure how many flowers of each type there are through spring, summer and autumn, using photographs. The idea is to build an easy-to-use piece of software to tell farmers exactly what flowers to plant so their farm supports a thriving wild pollinator community that provides reliable pollination to their crops. The software will compare pollen supply with pollen demand on a monthly basis.

Being able to measure pollen supply and demand in an area of farmland will allow scientists to answer a fundamental question central to ongoing debates about pollinators: What currently limits wild pollinator populations? Is available protein (pollen) the main limiting factor, or is it carbohydrate (nectar), nesting sites, overwinter mortality or negative impacts of pesticides or disease? The overall aim of my research is to test the hypothesis that pollen is the limiting factor in agricultural landscapes. If correct, then the best thing we can do for pollinators is plant flowers. If it is wrong, and something else is limiting pollinator numbers or causing declines, then different strategies will be necessary to retain viable communities of hard-working wild pollinators that support food production.

Planned Impact

The main beneficiaries are as follows:
*National governments or government agencies responsible for pollinator conservation (early beneficiaries)
Natural England, the UK Government's nature conservation agency for England, will benefit from this research because it will enable them to monitor and potentially enhance the effectiveness of their recently launched Mid-Tier agri-environment package: the Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package. The Package focuses largely on flower provision for pollinators, but does not currently take landscape context or existing flower provision into account. The data on pollen dependencies of wild bumblebees (Objectives 1 and 2) and the flower demand model (Objective 4) can be used to improve advice supporting the scheme, and the design of the scheme itself. The automated flower density protocol and flower demand model (Objectives 3 and 4) provide a mechanism for targeting the scheme at farm level. The scientific question of what currently limits wild pollinator populations in farmed landscapes is hugely pertinent to this scheme and other conservation policy around pollinators.
Other national Governments with Pollinator Strategies, including the Welsh and Irish Governments, and the United States Agriculture Department could also benefit from this approach when designing policy interventions for pollinators.
*Farm advisers and agronomists (early beneficiaries)
Farm advisers and agronomists provide advice directly to farmers, including advice on implementing agri-environment schemes and managing natural resources. The decision support tool that advises how to rectify flower deficiencies for core crop pollinators will help them deliver high quality advice. Hutchinsons Ltd, a leading agronomy company in the East of England, has already perceived a market for such a product (see Pathways to Impact). Demand for pollination in agriculture is growing globally, and there is increasing awareness of the need for pollination services as an input. I expect agronomists around the world to increasingly seek information on how to manage wild pollinators for their services.
*Farmers (medium term beneficiaires)
Farmers who take up the Wild Pollinator Package, or plant flowers without incentive, will be able to avoid wasting money planting in areas, or at times of year when existing flower provision is adequate. Growers of insect pollinated crops can expect to benefit from more effective action to manage dominant crop pollinators, increasing the likelihood that their actions will deliver an economic return through enhanced yield or quality of their produce.
*Larger agri-food businesses (medium term beneficiaries)
Supermarkets such as Waitrose and Sainsbury's, and suppliers such as Worldwide Fruit Ltd, have strong interests in protecting pollinators as part of their sustainability strategies. Such companies need simple, straightforward advice on how to manage pollinators for food production. By identifying likely pollen shortfall periods during the year, and establishing whether pollen supply is limiting wild pollinators in agricultural landscapes, this project will provide crucial evidence to support this advice.
*Conservation NGOs (medium term beneficiaries)
Organisations such as the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and Buglife (and their equivalents around the world) aim to support wild pollinators in all landscapes, and prevent further declines or extinctions. The datasets on pollen resources needed by common bumblebees, and identified likely shortfall periods during the year, will be invaluable to them in shaping their conservation strategies.
*The public (long term beneficiaries)
There is strong public concern about pollinator decline, and many members of the public are motivated to take action. Planting flowers, in the town or the countryside, is a popular response. Outputs of this research will improve the effectiveness of this action, by allowing targeting, and selection of appropriate species.

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/N014472/1 01/10/2016 30/11/2019 £555,267
NE/N014472/2 Transfer NE/N014472/1 01/12/2019 30/09/2021 £234,724
 
Description SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS

Published a set of ten global policy priorities to safeguard pollinators and a global review of scientific evidence on pollinators and pollination.

Published two high impact review papers on ecological intensification (EI). One reviews EI's role in mitigating pollinator decline (Kovács-Hostyánszki et al. 2017). The second describes policy targets to deliver EI (Garibaldi et al. 2019).

Secured funding for a large-scale (10 farm) study of Ecological Intensification in intensive fruit farms in semi-arid Brazil (BB/R016429/1) and employed a post-doc for three years to work on pollination aspects of this grant.

Published quantitative meta-analysis of pollinator exclusion experiments for vertebrate pollinators (Ratto et al. 2018)). This shows that an average 63% of fruit or seed set is lost from wild plants when vertebrate pollinators are excluded, implying a significant potential impact of vertebrate pollinator decline on natural ecosystems.

Established laboratory protocols for mass rearing non-terrestris bumblebee colonies (Objective 1).

Established a bioinformatics pipeline for PCR-free sequencing of mixed pollen loads, based on a shotgun metagenomics approach using the MinION, a portable nanopore sequencing device and published the method (Peel et al 2019) (Objective 1).


PROGRESS TOWARDS AWARD OBJECTIVES

Project objectives are as follows:
1) Investigate use of pollen sources at bumblebee nests in a real agricultural landscape.
2) Quantify pollen demand per larva for three bumblebee species
3) Develop and ground-truth a protocol for rapid quantification of floral resources
4) Construct a flower demand model that quantifies additional floral resource requirements to support pollination of crops by wild pollinators in a given landscape.

Objective 1: Over the field seasons of 2017 and 2018, we established a bumblebee rearing facility at UEA, in collaboration with Andrew Bourke's research group (Objective 1). This was used to study aspects of colony development in the tree bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum. The protocol is successful for Bombus terrestris (62% of 93 wild-caught queens reared workers in 2018) and Bombus hypnorum (43% of 68 wild-caught queens reared workers in 2018). In 2018, 37% of wild-caught queens collected in urban, semi-urban and rural locations around Norwich were infected with the trypanosome parasite Crithidia bombi on emergence from hibernation. For Bombus terrestris, we showed that this parasite had a significant negative impact on colony growth rates. I hope to repeat this work in a subsequent year, with a view to publication.

Given the low success rates for desired focal species (very few B. lapidarius and B. pratorum queens caught; none founded colonies in 2017), high parasite prevalence, and time investment required for rearing wild-caught queens, I decided to use purchased colonies of Bombus terrestris for the investigation of pollen sources collected by bumblebee colonies (Objective 1). During summer 2019 we sampled pollen collected by managed bumblebee colonies in Berkshire around a soft fruit farm (BBSRC NRP Studentship DTP in partnership with The Earlham Institute, using nanopore sequencing).

In 2020, we are moving the bumblebee rearing facility to Cambridge Department of Zoology. We plan to rear Bombus terrestris only, and study their colony growth rates and collected pollen types in Norfolk at different distances from a trunk road (NERC EnvEast Studentship).

Another group has published results that deliver Objective 2 (Moerman et al. 2016).

Objective 3: With PhD student Sarah Barnsley (NERC Training Grant NE/P010199/1) we have collected and analysed pilot data which shows that spectral signals from Sentinel satellites are influenced by the flowering status of hawthorn hedgerows. In 2019, Sarah has developed classifiers that identify individual flower patches by species from multi-spectral aerial imagery, for Crataegus monogyna , Prunus spinosa and Silene dioica. This work will be extended to more plant species, including nectar and pollen mixes in 2020.

Objective 4: We are working with CASE partner Hutchinson's Ltd, to develop an industry-owned decision support tool that recommends management to enhance floral resources in a specific landscape.

REFERENCES

Garibaldi, Lucas A., Néstor Pérez-Méndez, Michael P. D. Garratt, Barbara Gemmill-Herren, Fernando E. Miguez, and Lynn V. Dicks. 2019. 'Policies for Ecological Intensification of Crop Production', Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó, Anahí Espíndola, Adam J. Vanbergen, Josef Settele, Claire Kremen, and Lynn V. Dicks. 2017. 'Ecological intensification to mitigate impacts of conventional intensive land use on pollinators and pollination', Ecology Letters, 20: 673-89.

Moerman, Romain, Nathalie Roger, Roland De Jonghe, Denis Michez, and Maryse Vanderplanck. 2016. 'Interspecific Variation in Bumblebee Performance on Pollen Diet: New Insights for Mitigation Strategies', PLOS ONE, 11: e0168462.

Peel, N., Dicks, L. V., Clark, M. D., Heavens, D., Percival-Alwyn, L., Cooper, C., . . . Yu, D. W. (2019). Semi-quantitative characterisation of mixed pollen samples using MinION sequencing and Reverse Metagenomics (RevMet). Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 10(10), 1690-1701. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.13265

Ratto, F., B.I. Simmons, R. Spake, V. Zamora-Gutierrez, M.A. MacDonald, J.C. Merriman, C.J. Tremlett, G.M. Poppy, Kelvin S. H. Peh, and L.V. Dicks. 2018. 'Global importance of vertebrate pollinators for plant reproductive success: a meta-analysis', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 16: 82-90.
Exploitation Route The findings will inform National Pollinator Strategies developed by Defra and the devolved governments. Our work is informing the new Environmental Land Management Scheme for England being developed by Natural England. We are working in partnership with Hutchinson's Ltd and Berry World Group through CASE Studentships (NERC Training Grants NE/P010199/1 and NE/R007845/1, respectively). Through these partnerships, our research is shaped by business and findings will influence business actions.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment

 
Description National and international policy on pollinators At the 13th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP13) in Cancun, Mexico, December 2017, 13 countries signed a declaration called a "Coalition of the Willing", indicating their willingness to take action nationally and internationally on pollinators. The signatories are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Peru, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Uruguay. Two of these countries already have national pollinator strategies (UK, France), through which many actions are promoted and encouraged that improve conditions for wild and managed pollinators in farmed and urban areas. The other 11 countries are interested and/or actively developing national pollinator strategies. This declaration will help them learn from each other and shape the strategies. The text of the document, provided in this website http://promotepollinators.org/ includes a list of "essentials for national pollinator strategies" which very strongly draw on the ten policies for pollinators suggested by Dicks et al. (2016). The paper (Dicks et al. 2016) was circulated in hard copy at CBD CoP15, and was itself developed from the evidence assessed in the IPBES pollinators report (IPBES 2016), which is directly cited by the Coalition of the Willing. The 14th Conference of the Parties to the CBD (CoP14) in Egypt, 2018 adopted a decision to implement an "Updated Plan of Action 2018-2030 for the International Initiative on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators". The decision and supporting documents (CBD/COP/DEC/14/6) cite the IPBES (2016) report. REFERENCES Dicks, L. V., B. Viana, R. Bommarco, B. Brosi, M. D. C. Arizmendi, S. A. Cunningham, L. Galetto, R. Hill, A. V. Lopes, C. Pires, H. Taki, and S. G. Potts. 2016. 'Ten policies for pollinators', Science, 354: 975-76. IPBES. 2016. "Summary for Policymakers of the Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production." In, edited by S.G. Potts, V. L. Imperatriz-Fonseca, H. T. Ngo, J. C. Biesmeijer, T. D. Breeze, L. V. Dicks, L. A. Garibaldi, R. Hill, J. Settele, A. J. Vanbergen, M. A. Aizen, S. A. Cunningham, C. Eardley, B. M. Freitas, N. Gallai, P. G. Kevan, A. Kovács-Hostyánszki, P. K. Kwapong, J. Li, X. Li, D. J. Martins, G. Nates-Parra, J. S. Pettis, R. Rader and B. F. Viana. Bonn, Germany: Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Ratto, F., Simmons, B. I., Spake, R., Zamora-Gutierrez, V., MacDonald, M. A., Merriman, J. C., . . . Dicks, L. V. (2018). Global importance of vertebrate pollinators for plant reproductive success: a meta-analysis. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Advice to JRS Biodiversity Foundation on Pollinators Programme
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact I have advised the JRS Biodiversity Foundation, a US biodiversity conservation funder, as they developed a Pollinators Programme for Africa. I reviewed the first round of grants, and presented to the Board meeting when initial funding decisions were made. The JRS Biodiversity Foundation has developed a long term programme to fund development and capacity building in particular for biodiversity informatics around pollinators. This work will enable long term datasets of African pollinators to be used for pollinator management and monitoring. The impact on pollinator conservation and agricultural sustainability in Africa will be long term, through the projects that are directly funded.
 
Description Citation in National Pollinators Strategy for England progress report 2016
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The Countryside Stewardship Scheme introduced in 2014 includes a Wild Pollinator and Farm Wildlife Package which has attracted significant uptake among Mid-Tier agreements. The package was carefully designed with a range of stakeholders, and was based on the best available evidence, as described in Dicks et al 2015.
URL https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6579...
 
Description Citation in a decision of the Convention on Biological Diversity, at CoP13 in Mexico
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact This document represents a formal endorsement of the key messages of the IPBES pollinators assessment by the 196 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP13) in Mexico. Specifically, it cites the actions listed in a table in the Summary for Policymakers, and encourages parties to use these actions to to help guide their efforts to improve conservation and management of pollinators, address drivers of pollinator declines, and work towards sustainable food production systems and agriculture.
URL https://goo.gl/nP7cdb
 
Description Citation in a decision of the Convention on Biological Diversity, at CoP14 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt 2018
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact This decision mandates the Plan of Action 2018-2030 for the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators , to be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It also adopts the findings of a report on the importance of pollinators beyond food production, of which Lynn Dicks is a named author.
URL https://www.cbd.int/doc/decisions/cop-14/cop-14-dec-06-en.pdf
 
Description Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators (11 countries)
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact At the 13th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP13) in Cancun, Mexico, December 2017, 13 countries signed a declaration called a "Coalition of the Willing", indicating their willingness to take action nationally and internationally on pollinators. The signatories are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Peru, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Uruguay. Two of these countries already have national pollinator strategies (UK, France), through which many actions are being promoted and encouraged that improve conditions for wild and managed pollinators in farmed and urban areas. The other 11 countries are interested and/or actively developing national pollinator strategies and this declaration will help them learn from each other, and help shape the strategies. The text of the document, provided in this website http://promotepollinators.org/ includes a list of "essentials for national pollinator strategies" which very strongly draw on the ten policies for pollinators suggested by Dicks et al. (2016). The paper (Dicks et al 2016) was circulated at CBD CoP15, and was itself developed from the evidence assessed in the IPBES pollinators report (IPBES 2016), which is directly cited by the Coalition of the Willing.
URL http://promotepollinators.org/
 
Description Defra report to inform pollinators policy for England: Management and Drivers of Change of Pollinating Insects and Pollination Services
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The National Pollinators Strategy for England will be refreshed at its mid-term, in 2019, based on evidence statements derived from this document.
URL http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20277&FromSearc...
 
Description England's Pollinator Advisory Steering Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The Committee advises on implementation of the National Pollinators Strategy for England. It has overseen the development of a public information campaign - the Bees Needs Campaign - which includes Bees Needs week and a national award ceremony (http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/bees-needs). It advises on the development of the National Pollinator Monitoring Parternship.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-pollinator-strategy-for-bees-and-other-pollinato...
 
Description Info Doc to the Convention on Biological Diversity: Review of pollinators and pollination relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in all ecosystems, beyond their role in agriculture and food production
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact There has been a decision by the Convention on Biological Diversity (Decision 14/6, taken at CoP14 in Egypt, 2018) to adopt a "Plan of Action 2018-2030 for the conservation and sustainable use of pollinators". The plan will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
URL https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/3bf6/6dd2/f2282b216e6ae4bd24943d44/sbstta-22-inf-21-en.pdf
 
Description Waitrose Farm Assessment training
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The Waitrose Farm Assessment is used to monitor progress towards sustainability in the Waitrose fresh produce supply chain. Waitrose provides training for its suppliers in how to use and interpret the results of the farm assesment. Waitrose and the Waitrose Agronomy Group will hold a 3 day training meeting at the beginning of May (8th -10th) 2017, in preparation for the delivery of the 4th iteration of the Waitrose Farm Assessment. The intended audience includes senior agronomists / technologists responsible for performing the Waitrose Farm Assessment Version 4 (WFA4). Waitrose suppliers and the Waitrose Technical Team are also invited. As part of this, Dr Lynn Dicks will give a presentation and participate in discussions on Ecosystem Management. The session will be introduced by a member of the supply chain, who will introduce the relevance of the topic under discussion to different segments of the industry. The talks will be filmed and used as part of an on-line WFA training package for the future.
URL http://www.sustainableagriculturewaitrose.org/research/waitrose-farm-assessment/wfa-version-2
 
Description Cambridge Conservation Initiative Projects
Amount £54,564 (GBP)
Funding ID CCI-06-16-005 
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Department Cambridge Conservation Initiative
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2017
 
Description DICKS_U19DTP: Integrated pest management in fruit farms of semi-arid Brazil: the role of semi-natural habitat (Norwich Research Park DTP)
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2019 
End 09/2023
 
Description ENVEAST Doctoral Training Partnership
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 03/2021
 
Description Eklipse: Establishing a Knowledge and Learning Mechanism to Improve the Policy-Science-Society Interface on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Amount £2,997,272 (GBP)
Funding ID 690474 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 02/2016 
End 01/2020
 
Description Grand Challenges in Entomology
Amount £29,438 (GBP)
Organisation The Royal Entomological Society (RES) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 09/2020
 
Description NERC iCASE Studentship
Amount £89,114 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/R007845/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description NERC iCASE Studentships 2017
Amount £88,292 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/P010199/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description Norwich Research Park Doctoral Training Programme
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID DICKS_U18ICASE1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description ReNature: Promoting Research Excellence in NAture-based soluTions for innovation, sUstainable economic GRowth and human wEll-being in Malta
Amount £995,905 (GBP)
Funding ID 809988 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 09/2018 
End 08/2021
 
Description Sustainable Fruit farming In the CAatinga: managing ecosystem service trade-offs as agriculture intensifies (SUFICA)
Amount £438,102 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/R016429/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 04/2021
 
Description Understanding the epidemiology of fungal pathogens and their impact on seasonal variation in avocado quality throughout the supply chain
Amount £103,992 (GBP)
Organisation University of East Anglia 
Department School of Biological Sciences UEA
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description BerryWorld Ltd: Sustainable pollination services for the soft fruit industry 
Organisation BerryWorld
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This partnership has two associated CASE studentships, one funded by NERC (NE/R007845/1) and one funded by BBSRC through the Norwich Research Park Doctoral Training Programme. Students will be conducting research from October 2018 to September 2022, on different aspects of managing pollination services for the soft fruit industry.
Collaborator Contribution Berry World Varieties is the CASE partner for both project. They will contribute placement expenses, in-kind supervisory time to both projects, and an annual £1000 contribution to the NERC funded project.
Impact The studentships have not started yet, so there are no outputs.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Fungal pathogens in avocado collaborative PhD studentship 
Organisation Greencore Ltd
Country Ireland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This collaborative PhD studentship is linked to the Waitrose Collaborative Training Partnership, but is separately funded by UEA, University of Reading and Greencell Ltd. The research student is based at University of Reading, co-supervised by me.
Collaborator Contribution University of Reading fund 50% of the four year studentship, provide the tuition and the main supervisor. Greencell provide training, logistical support, supply chain data and £37,374 in direct funding.
Impact Further partnership working - Greencell and the parent company Westfalia Fruit have promised to provide in-country logistical support for research described by an ERC Consolidator Grant proposal led by Lynn Dicks.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Managing pollination services using precision agronomy tools 
Organisation Hutchisons Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This is a NERC funded iCASE Studentship. A PhD student at UEA will conduct the research needed to allow farmers to quantify and map pollinator resources and pollination service demand, and identify resource deficits specific to pollinators of the crops they are growing, using existing precision farming software developed by Hutchinsons Ltd (Omnia Precision).
Collaborator Contribution Hutchinson's product (Omnia Precision) offers a route to generating impact by influencing practices on large-scale commercial farms, in response to the findings of ecological research on the effects of landscape and farm practices on pollination service provision.
Impact None yet. This is an iCASE Studentship 2017-2021.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Road verges for bumblebee conservation 
Organisation Bumble Bee Conservation Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This is a CASE PhD studentship funded under the ENVEast Doctoral Training Programme. The student will start in October 2018.
Collaborator Contribution The partners are CASE partners. They each have representatives on the supervisory team, and will provide advice, logistical support and training to the student throughout.
Impact No outcomes yet as the studentship has not started. A student has been appointed.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Road verges for bumblebee conservation 
Organisation Costain Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This is a CASE PhD studentship funded under the ENVEast Doctoral Training Programme. The student will start in October 2018.
Collaborator Contribution The partners are CASE partners. They each have representatives on the supervisory team, and will provide advice, logistical support and training to the student throughout.
Impact No outcomes yet as the studentship has not started. A student has been appointed.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Road verges for bumblebee conservation 
Organisation Department of Transport
Department Highways Agency
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This is a CASE PhD studentship funded under the ENVEast Doctoral Training Programme. The student will start in October 2018.
Collaborator Contribution The partners are CASE partners. They each have representatives on the supervisory team, and will provide advice, logistical support and training to the student throughout.
Impact No outcomes yet as the studentship has not started. A student has been appointed.
Start Year 2017
 
Description SUFICA project core collaboration - Labrunier 
Organisation Agropecuaria Labrunier Ltda
Country Brazil 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution SUFICA project researchers are conducting detailed biodiversity and ecosystem service assessments on the four main Labrunier farms.
Collaborator Contribution Agropecuaria Labrunier Ltda and Xavier Baudequin (independent consultant, previously Labrunier staff member) are supporting the project logistically, arranging for workers to access the farms and considering experimental management changes. Xavier Baudequin, several Labrunier Farm staff and a number of other partner farms attended a producers workshop on February 5th 2019.
Impact No outcomes yet. The SUFICA project has so far identified locations for field surveys and the first field surveys, to collect baseline data, are in progress.
Start Year 2018
 
Description SUFICA project core collaboration - Primafruit 
Organisation Primafruit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The SUFICA research team the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Federal University of Sergipe (Brazil), Bahia State University (Brazil), Federal Uni of Sao Francisco Valley (Brazil) and Embrapa Brazilian Agricultural Res Corp (Brazil) are working directly with Primafruit, conducting detailed biodiversity and ecosystem service surveys on supplier farms, and designing an experimental manipulation to monitor feasibilty and short term benefits.
Collaborator Contribution Mr Gonzalo Neira from Primafruit Ltd was highly instrumental in setting up the entire research project. He has provided access and contact details for growers and partner researchers in Brazil.
Impact A shortlist of actions to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services has been developed, in partnership. One of the farms is particularly keen to implement one of these actions very soon (bird perches for predatory birds).
Start Year 2018
 
Description SUFICA project new collaboration - SENAR Centro de Excelência em Fruticultura 
Organisation Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil
Department National Rural Learning Service
Country Brazil 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Research team of the SUFICA project are working in partnership with the Centro de Excelência em Fruticultura (Centre for Excellence in Fruiticulture) to engage growers and communicate findings to the network of fruticulturists in the Bahia region of Brazil.
Collaborator Contribution The Centro de Excelência em Fruticultura of SENAR (The National Rural Apprenticeship Service) hosted the first SUFICA producer's workshop, 5th February 2019. This included a venue, an introductory speaker, lunch and refreshments for 20 people.
Impact Successful completion of the first SUFICA producers' workshop.
Start Year 2019
 
Description SuperB COST Action FA1307 
Organisation European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)
Country Belgium 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I am a Management Committee Member and Co-lead the Dissemination Work Package of SuperB. This provides the opportunity to hold a policy workshop, identifying opportunities for pollinator science to be incorporated in forthcoming European Policy. It also provides funding to test our approach to developing evidence-based guidelines on pollinator management.
Collaborator Contribution There are participants from 31 countries, led by Naturalis, in the Netherlands.
Impact Multi-disciplinary. Involves ecology, agronomy, economics, bee health and pathology, taxonomy. Outputs: one paper published - doi 10.7717/peerj.2249. One paper submitted to Journal of Applied Ecology.
Start Year 2014
 
Title Cool Farm Tool Biodiversity Module 
Description The Cool Farm Tool is an industry-led environmental decision-support tool used by members of the Cool Farm Alliance (www.coolfarmtool.org). The current focus is to develop a suite of tools according to the elements of farm-scale sustainability performance assessment identified by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (http://www.saiplatform.org/). With additional support from a BESS Programme Knowledge Exchange grant (NE/M000206/1), we have developed a biodiversity module for the Cool Farm Tool. It uses a scoring system for farms to rapidly assess their overall management of biodiversity, based on rigorous, unbiased assessment of evidence for the effectiveness of specific actions (Dicks et al. (in prep for Environmental Modelling and Software). The tool has been integrated into the online Cool Farm Tool by the software company Anthesis Group, funded directly by the Cool Farm Alliance. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact The Cool Farm Biodiversity module has so far been tested by Unilever, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and FarmCare. Ultimately, this software tool will gather data and potentially improve on-farm biodiversity management on thousands of farms in European supply chains. A New Zealand Government-funded project called 'The Sustainability Dashboard' is developing a New Zealand version of the tool. 
URL http://www.coolfarmtool.org
 
Description KfW Development Bank Green Sector Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation given to the international environmental staff of KfW, a German Development Bank, during their annual green sector seminar, 7th June 2018. The talk was about global pollinator decline, and how sustainable agriculture through development offers a solution. It sparked a lively debate about whether agri-chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers should ever be funded as development activities in low income countries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Linking indigenous, local and scientific knowledge in Thailand to policy-making through the IPBES Pollination Assessment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dialogue workshop and seminar on linking indigenous, local and scientific knowledge in Thailand to policy-making through the IPBES Pollination Assessment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://swed.bio/news/indigenous-landscape-pollination/
 
Description Workshop on knowledge synthesis methods to support agri-environmental policy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The objective was to collect inputs from the policy Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) about the need for knowledge synthesis in the new policy framework for the CAP after 2020. The session made it clear how needed is the knowledge synthesis by the policy makers to "support a European Commission credible proposal for the new CAP policy", particularly at the farm level ("farm level policy to the front"). It is important to select the right methodology carefully by considering the specific type of knowledge and the time constrictions regarding the stage in the policy cycle. Scientists required explanations on the debate for the CAP after 2020 in order to calibrate their research. The representative from DG Agri highlighted how some current greening elements are moved into conditionality in the proposal for the CAP after 2020. Several systemic reviews and meta-analyses already exist from which scientific evidence can be derived to answer some of the current AGRI policy questions. Sometimes there is a need to focus the knowledge on regional aspects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Bees Needs Week 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Bees Needs Week is an annual event organised by Defra (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs) to promote the importance of pollinators to the general public, in support of the National Pollinators Strategy. Defra has partnered with Carnaby London, a leading West End shopping and dining destination to promote bee and pollinator action from government, conservation groups, industry and retailers and to raise awareness of what people can do to help bees. My university ran a stand in the exhibition space on Carnaby Street, 9-15 July 2018, and plan to do so again in 2019. This included exhibiting the UEA bee game, and a live bumblebee colony.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hive-of-activity-to-raise-awareness-of-bees-needs
 
Description Bees Needs event for schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact A Bees Needs event for schools was held at UEA on Tuesday 17 July to coincide with Bees Needs week. Pupils from several local high schools attended. Activities included viewing insects and pollen down microscopes, counting pollinator visits to flowers on campus. The event was covered by the BBC Radio Norfolk Breakfast Show.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description CAP 2020+ Workshop (JRC Ispra, Italy) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation at a workshop organised by the Joint Research Centre and DG Agri, in Ispra, North Italy. The title of the workshop was "Brainstorming on evolution of the CAP 2020+: Concepts for a future CAP targeting public good and ecosystem performance at the farm level". Attendees included officials from DG Agri (including those directly responsible for the current Common Agricultural Policy Impact Evaluation) and DG Environment, as well as sustainability professionals from businesses include Nestle.
My presentation was entitled: "Using CAP to enhance ecosystem services at farm level" and was about using evidence synthesis to identify key actions known to be beneficial across multiple ecosystem services.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cool Farm Alliance Annual General Meeting and conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Cool Farm Alliance is an international not-for-profit organisation that owns, uses and develops the Cool Farm Tool, an industry-led, farm-scale sustainability assessment tool (www.coolfarmtool.org). At the Cool Farm Alliance AGM, 16-17 March 2017, Lynn Dicks will facilitate a workshop on the Biodiversity Tool (current use and ongoing developments).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
URL http://www.coolfarmtool.org
 
Description Doing Transdisciplinary Research: Lessons from the Front Line 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A workshop organised by Future Earth Ireland, 29 November 2016, hosted by the Royal Royal Irish Academy.

The aim of this event was to provide participants with an update on the work of Future Earth, highlight the benefits of getting involved in Future Earth activities, and to provide an information session with a particular focus on transdisciplinary research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ria.ie/news/policy-and-international-relations/doing-transdisciplinary-research-lessons-...
 
Description Linnean Society Public Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited public lecture given at the Linnean Society of London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.linnean.org/meetings-and-events/events/plan-bee-how-can-society-respond-to-pollinator-de...
 
Description Press interviews about farming and biodiversity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact FT Brexit Unspun podcast interview.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ft.com/brexit-unspun-podcast
 
Description Press interviews about pollinator decline 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview about farming and pollinators, broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today, 5:45 am Tuesday 29 November 2016, 6th October 2017
The Guardian newspaper (National), interview about insect biomass decline, 18 October 2017; Interview for BBC World Service Business Daily, 16 August 2017 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cstwvz)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-...
 
Description Stalham Farmers Club 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Talk on the importance of pollinators in agriculture, presented to the Annual General Meeting of the Stalham Farmers' Club
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.stalhamfarmers.co.uk/
 
Description UEA London Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact UEA London Lectures 2018
What can be done to save the bees?
Dr Lynn Dicks, UEA School of Biological Sciences
Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW
Pollinator decline is one of the most well-known environmental issues of today. Everyone knows that bees are in trouble, and with governments all over the world signing up to protect pollinators, there couldn't be a better time to define strategic actions. In this talk, Dr Lynn Dicks will examine the scientific understanding of pollinator decline and set out a plan for supporting pollinators globally.

The UEA London Lectures are an annual series of talks highlighting the impactful research taking place at the University of East Anglia, presented in London. They are free and open to all, but booking is essential.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.uea.ac.uk/events/-/uea-london-lectures-2018-what-can-be-done-to-save-the-bees-
 
Description Waitrose Science Day 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Watirose Science Day is an annual training and networking event for Waitrose fresh produce suppliers. At the 2017 event, held at Warwick University, 21-22 February, Lynn Dicks presented the Cool Farm Biodiversity Module, and facilitated a workshop developing biodiversity-focused research questions for the Waitrose BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Workshop 'Best practices addressing environmental needs' (DG Agri, Brussels) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact A two day workshop entitled 'Best practices addressing environmental needs', organised and funded by the European COmmission's Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development, held in Brussels 23-24 March 2017. I was an invited speaker, asked to present my ideas for effective agri-environment options that could be used in the Common Agricultural Policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017