Impacts of Large Mammal Loss on Pollination Services under Changing Climates

Award Period
Award Amount
Agency Name
National Geographic Society
Award Number
PI First Name
PI Last Name
MSI People
Area/s of Research
Ecology and Evolution

Results from this project are intended to yield new and improved understanding of 1) the role of large herbivorous mammals- a group of high conservationconcern- in ecosystems and the ramifications of their decline and extinction; 2) factors that govern a key ecological process, pollination, and shed new light on the complex relationship between plants, pollinators, and large mammals; and 3) how humans impact the environment through both human-induced biodiversity loss and altered species distributions, as well as humandriven climate change, and potential interactions between these two forms of global change. We aim to do this by investigating effects of large herbivores and climate on 1) flowers and floral resources, 2) pollinators, and 3) pollination services. To date, we have collected data to meet our first objective of understanding how large mammal removal impacts density, diversity, duration, and quality of floral resources, and whether climate mediates this impact. This additional funding would enable us to meet our second and third objectives of understanding how large mammal removal impacts diversity and abundance of insect pollinators, and impacts visitation rates and seed set, across climates. Completing these last two objectives would enable us to produce our intended results and better understand the ecological ramifications of large mammal declines and interactions with climate change on pollination, a process critical for plant reproduction and conservation as well as human food production and well-being.