FIRST SYSTEMATIC STUDY AND DISCLOSURE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF POLLINATORS FOR THE BIODIVERSITY OF CABRERA AND CÍES NATIONAL PARKS

 

Abstract: This project will generate knowledge, for the first time, about the richness of pollinator species and their importance in the different habitats of the two Spanish National Parks in island systems, that of Cabrera and that of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, where there is a remarkable diversity of habitats and in which endemic species of these islands live. We plan to evaluate how important plant-pollinator interactions are at the community level, including both insects and vertebrates. Although insects are the most abundant group of pollinators, pollination by vertebrates has been documented on numerous islands where typically insectivorous and granivorous species can be forced to consume nectar and pollen, while being able to act as pollinators. For this study, we will use the complex network approach with which the team has extensive experience. Comparing the network structure between anthropized and natural habitats within each Park will allow us to evaluate how the pollinator community differs from each other, not only in abundance but also in species composition and in their importance in the network. We hypothesize an impoverishment of pollinator species and a greater degree of generalization in their interactions in the most degraded habitats. Apart from generating new and necessary knowledge that will be very useful for the managers of both Parks, the project will be novel because we plan to design an automatic pollinator visualization technique that could be used to monitor them in the long term. Finally, we propose the development of outreach materials for teachers, students and the general public, including two informative videos (one for each Park) as well as the organization of seminars and workshops involving scientists and Park managers to together try finding solutions to mitigate the effect of global change on the pollinators.

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