24/03/2016. Text by Marta Daniela Santos.
Luísa Carvalheiro, external collaborator of the CoBIG2-cE3c research group, is part of an international research team that has authored a study on the impact of pollinator density and diversity on crop yields, recently published on the renowned journal Science.
The world population as of March 2016 is estimated on 7.4 billion people . Furthermore, the United Nations estimates that it will reach approximately 11.2 billion people in year 2100 . In developing nations, in which the population growth is higher than in developed nations, more than 2 billion people rely on agriculture on small farms (farms with less than 2 hectares) for surviving. Hence hunger reduction, global food security and poverty reduction are urgent concerns. The improvement of crop yelds and minimizing of environmental impacts through enhancement of biodiversity could be a sustainable pathway towards greater food supplies – a process also known as ecological intensification.
In this study the authors perform an innovative research quantifying to what degree enhancing pollinator diversity and richness can improve yields on more than three hundred fields in small and large farms from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The authors conclude that more diverse pollinator communities can improve crop yields.
Worldwide, this study demonstrates that ecological intensification can create synchronous biodiversity and yield outcomes.
Complete reference to the article:
Garibaldi, L.A., Carvalheiro,L.G. et al. 2016. Mutually beneficial pollinator diversity and crop yield outcomes in small and large farms. Science, Vol. 351, Issue 6271, pp. 388-391. http://ce3c.ciencias.ulisboa.pt/research/publications/ver.php?id=331
 http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ (Retrieved March 23, 2016)