The Forgotten Pollinators

The Forgotten Pollinators

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Stephen L. Buchmann and Gary Paul Nabhan

312 pages pages | 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


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312 pages pages | 6 X 9 | 34 illustrations, 4 tables
publication year: 
1 997