A unique and personal insight into the ecology and evolution of pollinators, their relationships with flowers, and their conservation in a rapidly changing world.
The pollination of flowers by insects, birds and other animals is a fundamentally important ecological function that supports both the natural world and human society. Without pollinators to facilitate the sexual reproduction of plants, the world would be a biologically poorer place in which to live, there would be an impact on food security, and human health would suffer.
Written by one of the world's leading pollination ecologists, Pollinators & Pollination provides an introduction to what pollinators are, how their interactions with flowers have evolved, and the fundamental ecology of these relationships. It explores the pollination of wild and agricultural plants in a variety of habitats and contexts, including urban, rural and agricultural environments. The author also provides practical advice on how individuals and organisations can study, and support, pollinators.
As well as covering the natural history of pollinators and flowers, the author discusses their cultural importance, and the ways in which pollinator conservation has been portrayed from a political perspective. Pollinators & Pollination draws on field work experiences in South America, Africa, Australia, the Canary Islands and the UK.
For over 30 years the author has spent his career researching how plants and pollinators evolve relationships, how these interactions function ecologically, their importance for society, and how we can conserve them in a rapidly changing world. Pollinators & Pollination offers a unique and personal insight into the science of pollinators and pollination, aimed at anyone who is interested in understanding these fascinating and crucial ecological interactions.
Preface and Acknowledgements
1. The importance of pollinators and pollination
2. More than just bees: the diversity of pollinators
3. To be a flower
4. Fidelity and promiscuity in Darwin's entangled bank
5. The evolution of pollination strategies
6. A matter of time: from daily cycles to climate change
7. Agricultural perspectives
8. Urban environments
9. The significance of gardens
10. Shifting fates of pollinators
11. New bees on the block
12. Managing, restoring and connecting habitats
13. The politics of pollination
14. Studying pollinators and pollination
As a scientist and educator for over 30 years, Jeff Ollerton has developed an international profile in the field of biodiversity, focused particularly on understanding and conserving plant-pollinator interactions. His highly-cited, ground-breaking research has been used by national and international agencies to support efforts to conserve pollinators and their pollination services.
"SUPERB. It contains everything I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to grasp, all in one book, AND written in a way I can understand! It makes such a difference to a non-scientist (like me) to be able to grasp the facts, and the science behind the facts, without having to first look up dozens of terms I don’t understand."
– Brigit Strawbridge Howard, author of Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature
"Fascinating, entertaining, and thought-provoking. A highly readable mix of science, personal observation and anecdote, this is my favourite book of the many published on pollinators and pollination in recent years."
– Professor Dave Goulson, author of A Sting in the Tale, Bee Quest, A Buzz in the Meadow and The Garden Jungle
"This is a highly readable text on pollination ecology, very useful for students and anyone who needs to get up to speed on this topic and its surrounding issues [...] Written in a personal and engaging style and with many clear diagrams and illustrations – this excellent text provides much useful insight."
– Bees for Development Journal
"Accessible and informative [...] Comprehensive and in-depth enough to be of interest to someone like me with a little academic experience, and at the same time concise enough to cover the key discussions without being a massive quarto textbook."
– Ben Courtice, As The River Goes By
"Fascinating, thought-provoking and often entertaining [...] An easy and enjoyable read with much to offer the general reader."
– Richard Rickitt, BeeCraft
"Most of his 30-years' research is poured into this major work and it has plenty of graphs as an evidence base for his ideas and theories. This is not just about bees and pollination – though it may seem that way as Apis mellifera is a major pollinator – it is about all pollinators, birds, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates."
– Wildlife Matters
"Entertaining [...] readable [...] Jeff provides facts and personal observations behind the science without the use of specialized terms that only biologists can understand."
– Shuang-Quan Huang, Trends in Ecology & Evolution
"An easy and pleasant read and there is a long and very useful reference list."
– John Richards, BSBI News
"Accessible and appealing."
– Peter Bernhardt, on the Science Show with Robyn Williams
"A very fine introduction to the biology – and politics – of pollination. Highly recommended."
– Ken Thompson, The Niche, autumm 2021
"Wonderful [...] This is a book that deserves to be read by anyone interested in the topic."
– Barry Cottam, Canadian Field Naturalist
"Entertaining, pleasant to read and presented in an attractive pocketbook format keeping everything short and concise. It supplies appealingly prepared, interesting scientific information and attractive pictures of pollinators [...] A very timely book."
– Anne-Christine Mupepele, Basic and Applied Ecology
"This book is scholarly yet personal and very readable [...] A wonderful way to learn more about why pollinators are important, how they interact with flowers and how we can better help them."
– Bee Magazine
"Few pollination biologists have played a more pivotal role in the expansion of the pollination tent than Jeff Ollerton [...] Pollinators & Pollination is unique in providing a thorough overview of some of the most important (and rapidly changing) themes in pollination biology, while showcasing the author's zest for engagement with his students, colleagues, and fellow citizens."
– Robert A. Raguso, Current Biology