PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Revealing the secret cocoa pollinators

International research team led by Göttingen University investigates landscape and farm-level man-agement in cocoa agroforests in Indonesia

Revealing the secret cocoa pollinators
2021-05-04
(Press-News.org) The importance of pollinators to ensure successful harvests and thus global food security is widely acknowledged. However, the specific pollinators for even major crops - such as cocoa - haven't yet been identified and there remain many questions about sustainability, conservation and plantation management to enhance their populations and, thereby, pollination services. Now an international research team based in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia and led by the University of Göttingen has found that in fact ants and flies - but not ceratopogonid midges as was previously thought - appear to have a crucial role to play. In addition, they found that promoting biodiversity friendly landscapes, leaf-litter and trees providing shade in agroforestry systems were important to enhance tiny cocoa pollinators. The research was published in Biological Conservation.

The team, in collaboration with Tadulako University in Palu, carried out two separate experiments involving 42 cocoa agroforestry farms in the Napu Valley of Central Sulawesi. The work included applying a sticky glue to over 15,000 flowers in more than 500 trees for an eight-month period and recording the identity and abundance of captured flower visitors. In one experiment involving 18 farms, they investigated the effect of the distance between the forest and the farm, and the amount of canopy cover from shade trees, on the abundance of the main pollinators. In the second experiment in 24 different cocoa farms, they measured the effect of leaf-litter management on pollinators. In both experiments they quantified the amount of forest and agroforests surrounding the 42 cocoa farms.

The researchers found that ants were the most common flower-visitors. This highlighted their potential as pollinators whether directly (by transporting pollen), or indirectly (by disturbing pollinators and promoting their movement). The study also shows that preserving biodiversity friendly landscapes, such as forests and agroforests, and promoting agroforestry systems is crucial for pollinator conservation. This in turn pro-motes pollination and sustainable cocoa production. "We were surprised that we did not capture any cerato-pogonid midges, even though these tiny midges were considered the most important pollinators of cocoa. This emphasizes that cocoa pollinators are more diverse than previously known but also that there is still much to learn," said Dr Manuel Toledo-Hernández, from the University of Göttingen and first author of the study. "Current global cocoa initiatives should consider the role of biodiversity friendly habitats for the con-servation of pollinators, because their pollination services are an ecological alternative towards current commitments on combining high yields with conservation," added Toledo-Hernández and his coauthors Teja Tscharntke and Thomas C. Wanger.

INFORMATION:

Original publication: M Toledo-Hernández et al, Landscape and farm-level management for conservation of potential pollinators in Indonesian cocoa agroforests, Biological Conservation (2021). DoI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109106, article also available here until 27 May 2021

Contact: Dr Manuel Toledo-Hernández
University of Göttingen
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Sciences,
Grisebachstraße 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 1774472022
Email: m1toledo@hotmail.com, mtoledo@gwdg.de
http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/manuel+toledo-hernandez/542098.html


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Revealing the secret cocoa pollinators

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Development of microsatellite markers for censusing of endangered rhinoceros

Development of microsatellite markers for censusing of endangered rhinoceros
2021-05-04
Today, the Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is critically endangered, with fewer than 100 individuals surviving in Indonesia on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. To ensure survival of the threatened species, accurate censusing is necessary to determine the genetic diversity of remaining populations for conservation and management plans. A new study reported in BMC Research Notes characterized 29 novel polymorphic microsatellite markers -- repetitive DNA sequences -- that serve as a reliable censusing method for wild Sumatran rhinos. The study was a collaborative effort involving the University ...

Plastic pollution in the deep sea: A geological perspective

Plastic pollution in the deep sea: A geological perspective
2021-05-04
Boulder, Colo., USA: A new focus article in the May issue of Geology summarizes research on plastic waste in marine and sedimentary environments. Authors I.A. Kane of the Univ. of Manchester and A. Fildani of the Deep Time Institute write that "Environmental pollution caused by uncontrolled human activity is occurring on a vast and unprecedented scale around the globe. Of the diverse forms of anthropogenic pollution, the release of plastic into nature, and particularly the oceans, is one of the most recent and visible effects." The authors cite multiple studies, including one in the May issue by Guangfa Zhong and Xiaotong ...

Consumers make decisions based on how and why products are recommended online

2021-05-04
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As more people go online for shopping, understanding how they rely on e-commerce recommendation systems to make purchases is increasingly important. Penn State researchers now suggest that it's not just what is recommended, but how and why it's recommended, that helps to shape consumers' opinions. In a study, the researchers investigated how people reacted to two product recommendation systems. The first system generated recommendations based on the user's earlier purchases -- often referred to as content-based recommendation systems. ...

UTEP study examines movement in children with autism

UTEP study examines movement in children with autism
2021-05-04
EL PASO, Texas -- For more than a year, researchers at The University of Texas at El Paso's Stanley E. Fulton Gait Research & Movement Analysis Lab in the College of Health Sciences have been using real-time 3D animation to investigate motor impairments in children who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Their aim is to understand how children with autism can learn motor skills, so that they can receive effective therapies. The results of their study, titled "Children With Autism Exhibit More Individualized Responses to Live Animation Biofeedback Than Do Typically Developing Children," were recently published in the journal of Perceptual and Motor Skills. The paper's release coincides with National Autism Awareness Month in April. "The greatest takeaway from this study is that when teaching ...

Health ads in users' customized online sites may evoke negative reactions

2021-05-04
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Tweaking the look of a social media profile may subtly alter a person's reaction to the health messages that appear on that site, according to researchers. They add that these reactions could influence whether the users heed the advice of those messages. In a study, the researchers found that people who gained a feeling of control when they customized an online website were more likely to perceive the health message as a threat to their freedom, lowering the chance that they will adopt the message's advice. On the other hand, when customization bolstered the users' sense of identity, they did not resent the message as much and were more willing to consider the ads' recommended behavioral changes, according to the researchers. "In ...

Housing subsidies reduce health care costs for vulnerable veterans

2021-05-03
Ensuring that veterans have stable housing not only reduces homelessness but also slashes the cost of providing them with publicly funded health care, according to a national study led by University of Utah Health scientists. The researchers found that veterans who received temporary financial assistance (TFA) from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to acquire or retain housing had fewer hospital visits and an average reduction in health care costs of $2,800 over a two-year period than veterans who did not receive this benefit. The researchers say this model could help non-profit organizations and other federal, state, and local governments better serve homeless Americans who are not veterans. "Getting ...

33% of neighborhoods in largest US cities were 'pharmacy deserts'

2021-05-03
Black and Latino neighborhoods in the 30 most populous U.S. cities had fewer pharmacies than white or diverse neighborhoods in 2007-2015, USC research shows, suggesting that 'pharmacy deserts'- like so-called food deserts-may be an overlooked contributor to persistent racial and ethnic health disparities. Pharmacies are increasingly vital points of care for essential health services. In addition to filling prescriptions to treat chronic health conditions, pharmacists dispense emergency doses of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses, contraceptives to prevent unplanned pregnancy and COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. But ...

New research shows benefits of deworming expectant mothers to their infants

2021-05-03
More than 25% of the world's population (greater than 1.5 billion people) face the burden of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections, a species of intestinal parasite whose eggs develop in the soil before finding a new host. The main cause of this high infection rate is lack of access to adequate sanitation facilities (toilets) and the consequent contamination of the environment with human feaces. While universal access to adequate sanitation is one of the sustainable development goals, parasite burdens are still causing harm. Fortunately, deworming medicines are highly effective and safe. Researchers from Syracuse University, the World Health Organization, ...

Speeding new treatments

2021-05-03
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, mass vaccinations have begun to raise the tantalizing prospect of herd immunity that eventually curtails or halts the spread of SARS-CoV-2. But what if herd immunity is never fully achieved - or if the mutating virus gives rise to hyper-virulent variants that diminish the benefits of vaccination? Those questions underscore the need for effective treatments for people who continue to fall ill with the coronavirus. While a few existing drugs show some benefit, there's a pressing need to find new therapeutics. Led by The University of New Mexico's Tudor Oprea, MD, PhD, scientists ...

Mutant corn gene boosts sugar in seeds, leaves, may lead to breeding better crop

Mutant corn gene boosts sugar in seeds, leaves, may lead to breeding better crop
2021-05-03
An abnormal build up of carbohydrates -- sugars and starches -- in the kernels and leaves of a mutant line of corn can be traced to one misregulated gene, and that discovery offers clues about how the plant deals with stress. That is the conclusion of Penn State researchers whose previous study discovered the Maize ufo1 gene responsible for creating the mutant corn line. They now are assessing its effects and potential for inclusion in breeding new lines of corn better able to thrive in a warming world. The finding of higher sugar levels in plant tissues in their latest study is just ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Saving the eastern monarch butterfly: SFU research

Researchers develop framework incorporating renewables and flexible carbon capture

Making mindfulness meditation more helpful starts with understanding how it can be harmful

Strengthening interpersonal relationships helps medical patients live longer

Grape genetics research reveals what makes the perfect flower

Rising energy demand for cooling

Did Earth's early rise in oxygen help multicellular life evolve?

A new theory for what's happening in the brain when something looks familiar

A gentler strategy for avoiding childhood dental decay

WVU researchers find disparities for COVID-19 testing and positivity rates

Ancient Australian Aboriginal memory tool superior to 'memory palace' learning

Bone marrow disorder nearly 10-times more common in those with venom allergy

Bipolar order: A straightforward technique to have more control over organic thin films

What happens in the brain when we imagine the future?

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance study finds topography is key factor in where Andean bears mothers make their dens

Study shows racial differences in personal care product use, may lead to health inequities

New model for infectious disease could better predict future pandemics

Salk scientists reveal role of genetic switch in pigmentation and melanoma

Study finds potential causality between blood clot factors and migraine with aura

Novel simulation method predicts blood flow conditions behind von Willebrand disease

Ancient horse DNA reveals gene flow between Eurasian and North American horses

Scientists discover five new species of listeria, improving food safety

Embryo cryopreservation minimizes cryoinjuries, offers hope for would-be parents

COVID-19 testing method gives results within one second

Adding antibodies to enhance photodynamic therapy for viral and bacterial disease

Disabled researcher calls for better support for faculty

Hepatitis C screening doubles when tests ordered ahead of time

Discovery increases likelihood of growing food despite drought

USPSTF lowers recommended ages for colorectal cancer screening

Shootin1a - The missing link underlying learning and memory

[Press-News.org] Revealing the secret cocoa pollinators
International research team led by Göttingen University investigates landscape and farm-level man-agement in cocoa agroforests in Indonesia