The Forgotten Pollinators
6 x 9
34 illustrations, 4 tables
Consider this: Without interaction between animals and flowering plants, the seeds and fruits that make up nearly eighty percent of the human diet would not exist.
In The Forgotten Pollinators, Stephen L. Buchmann, one of the world's leading authorities on bees and pollination, and Gary Paul Nabhan, award-winning writer and renowned crop ecologist, explore the vital but little-appreciated relationship between plants and the animals they depend on for reproduction -- bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bats, and countless other animals, some widely recognized and other almost unknown.
Scenes from around the globe -- examining island flora and fauna on the Galapagos, counting bees in the Panamanian rain forest, witnessing an ancient honey-hunting ritual in Malaysia -- bring to life the hidden relationships between plants and animals, and demonstrate the ways in which human society affects and is affected by those relationships. Buchmann and Nabhan combine vignettes from the field with expository discussions of ecology, botany, and crop science to present a lively and fascinating account of the ecological and cultural context of plant-pollinator relationships.
More than any other natural process, plant-pollinator relationships offer vivid examples of the connections between endangered species and threatened habitats. The authors explain how human-induced changes in pollinator populations -- caused by overuse of chemical pesticides, unbridled development, and conversion of natural areas into monocultural cropland-can have a ripple effect on disparate species, ultimately leading to a "cascade of linked extinctions."
Foreword \ Edmund O. Wilson
Introduction: Remembering the Pollinators
Chapter 1. Silent Springs and Fruitless Falls
Chapter 2. Flowers
Chapter 3. Pollinators
Chapter 4. The Perils of Matchmaking
Chapter 5. Bees in the Bestiary, Bats in the Belfry
Chapter 6. Fractured Fairy Tales
Chapter 7. Need Nectar, Will Travel
Chapter 8. Holding the Globe in Our Hands
Chapter 9. Keepers of the Flame
Chapter 10. New Bee on the Block
Chapter 11. The Little Lives Keeping Crops Fruitful
Chapter 12. Cultivating Lasting Relationships
Appendix 1: A Call for a National Policy On Pollination
Appendix 2: Pollinators of the Major Crop Plants
Appendix 3: Conservation and Research Organizations
Appendix 4: Sources
Appendix 5: Pollinator Classes for the World's Wild Flowering Plants
Appendix 6: Common Agricultural Pesticides
The Forgotten Pollinators won the 1997 Benjamin Franklin Award in the science/environment category.