Impacts of Large Mammal Loss on Pollination Services under Changing Climates

Award Period
to
Award Amount
$4,900
Agency Name
National Geographic Society
Award Number
NGS-85418R-21
PI First Name
Hillary
PI Last Name
Young
MSI People
Area/s of Research
Ecology and Evolution
Abstract

Results from this project are intended to yield new and

improved understanding of 1) the role of large

herbivorous mammals- a group of high conservation

concern- 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.