Future-proofing the pollination services to insect-pollinated crop production

R. Rader, L. Schmidt, M. Rocchetti, D. Wright, K. Bezerra da Silva Santos, A. Dingley, J. Preradovic, J. Jones, B. Dawson, L.W. DeVetter, D.J. Perović, A.E. Davis
Fruits and vegetables can vary significantly in their dependence upon insect pollinators to transfer pollen. Raspberry and blackberry are two fruits that are regarded as highly-pollinator dependent. This means that knowledge of pollinator foraging behaviour, efficiency at transferring pollen, and interactions between pollinators, flowers, and the surrounding environment, are all critical factors to understand in depth to ensure that pollination service delivery is optimised. Bees have generally been acknowledged as the most important crop pollinators, yet their efficiency can vary in response to various factors including timing of the visit, previous visits, hive health, flowers available and interactions with other taxa. Further, even though we know other insects visit crop flowers, little is known about the pollination services provided by animals other than bees (i.e., non-bees) and their capacity to transfer pollen effectively. We also have a limited understanding about the number and quality of flower visits required in different cultivars and systems to achieve the best fruit quality. Finally, the resources pollinators require in different seasons and landscapes and the environmental conditions in which berry plants are grown, can also mediate the likelihood of pollination success. This presentation will outline a number of research findings that could be used to support greater resiliency with regard to insect pollination needs of Rubus and Ribes. These include understanding the contribution of different flower visitors and their efficiency in providing pollination services, a greater understanding of pollinator resource needs to improve their longevity in orchard environments, the conditions in which plants are most responsive to pollination service delivery and the importance of collaborations between industry and researchers to manage the system sustainably and to optimise fruit production and quality.
Rader, R., Schmidt, L., Rocchetti, M., Wright, D., Bezerra da Silva Santos, K., Dingley, A., Preradovic, J., Jones, J., Dawson, B., DeVetter, L.W., Perović, D.J. and Davis, A.E. (2024). Future-proofing the pollination services to insect-pollinated crop production. Acta Hortic. 1388, 17-36
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2024.1388.3
bee, fly, Diptera, pollen, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry

Acta Horticulturae