Title: Where have all the flowers gone? Pollinators, Monoculture, & the Pollination Networks We Might Need to Bring Back
Abstract: We live on this planet because we receive a lot of the things that we need to survive from the natural ecosystems that surround us. These include breathable air, drinkable water, and a climate that falls within the temperature extremes we can tolerate. We call these "ecosystem services." Because they have no explicit monetary value, we often take the ecosystem services and other benefits for granted. However, one noteworthy example is pollination. We have been paying for an ecosystem service we used to get for free--pollination--since the 1950s and 1960s. It's time to take a good look at the real economic value of natural pollinators. This talk will explore the notion of a pollinator network. We'll explore the relationships between pollinators and plants, and demonstrates that, as these networks simplify, they are prone to extinction and collapse.