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Study Finds 94% Loss of Plant-Pollinator Networks

Research published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversityfound a 94% loss of plant-pollinator networks in the Northeast— networks comprised of wild bees and the native plants they historically rely on. About 30% of plant-pollinator networks were completely lost, with the bees, the plants, or both completely disappearing. In another 64% of the network loss, the wild bees or native plants are still present in the ecosystem, but the bees no longer visit those plants and the association is lost. The researchers identified changing climate and invasive and non-native species of both plants and insects as key factors in the network loss. The researchers say an increase in habitat restoration and native flowering plants in agricultural landscapes are critical for improving wild bee biodiversity, but also food security for humans.