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Dr Eileen F Power

Department of Botany,
School of Natural Sciences,
Trinity College Dublin,
Dublin 2, Ireland

Email: eipower@tcd.ie

 

 

Predicting the impact of environmental change on floral resources for pollinators at the national scale (FLOMAP)

Most flowering plant species need to be pollinated by animals to achieve optimal seed and/or fruit production. Pollination services provided by wild and managed pollinators are estimated to contribute €153 billion to the global economy and €54 million per year to the Irish economy (€3.9 million for oil-seed rape alone). However, many pollinator species are in severe decline and land-use change resulting in the loss of habitat and floral resources is a major contributory factor. Little is known about the current state of floral resource availability for pollinators across Europe and basic methods to describe and compare floral resources across landscapes are almost completely lacking. Thus, there is no system in place to predict the impacts of land-use change on pollinators. We propose to assess the quality of the dominant land-uses at the Irish national scale for pollinators using floral abundance and diversity as a proxy. We will use expert and citizen science surveys of flower abundance and diversity in selected grid squares as well as existing floral datasets. We will then create a floral resource heat-map (combining floral data with land-cover data, nectar and pollen quality data and known pollinator preferences for plant species) by modelling forage resource availability and suitability for pollinators and using Geographical Information Systems to map it across the country. This will elucidate which areas can provide adequate nutrition for pollinators and thus, for example, the potential to provide sufficient pollination services for nearby insect-pollinated crops. It will also help identify pollinator hotspots and areas that are in need of conservation efforts to improve pollination services, thereby making a significant contribution to pollinator conservation and agricultural sustainability. This project will provide a modelling framework that can be used across all European countries to assess areas of conservation priority for pollinators. Funded by the Irish Research Council – Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme 2014.

PhD research: The impacts of management and landscape context on plants and pollinators in intensive agricultural grasslands

I’ve recently set up an online citizen science project called Count Flowers for Bees. You can now help Irish bee populations by following these 3 easy steps: (1) Click on this link<https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/eileenfranklin/count-flowers-for-bees>  (2) look at photos of flowery grasslands from across Ireland (3) count the flowers and then categorize them into simple groups.It’s easy, fun, possibly addictive and you don’t need any knowledge of flowers or to get off the couch. You can do as many photos as you like. Help me count flowers for bees!

 

Publications

De Palma, A.,…Power. E.F., et al. (2016). Predicting bee community responses to land-use changes: Effects of geographic and taxonomic biases. Scientific Reports, 6, 31153.

Tiedeken, E.J., Egan, P.A., Stevenson, P.C., Wright, G.A., Brown, M.J.F., Power, E. F., Farrell, I., Mathews, S. M., Stout, J.C. (2015). Nectar chemistry modulates the impact of an invasive plant on native pollinators. Functional Ecology, doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12588.

Hudson, L. N., et al. (2014). "The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts." Ecology and Evolution 4(24): 4701-4735.

Carvalheiro, L. G., et al. (2014). "The potential for indirect effects between co‐flowering plants via shared pollinators depends on resource abundance, accessibility and relatedness." Ecology Letters 17(11): 1389-1399.

Power E.F., Kelly D.L. & Stout J.C. (2013) Impacts of organic and conventional dairy farmer attitude, behaviour and knowledge on farm biodiversity in Ireland. Journal for Nature Conservation 21(5): 272-278.

Wright G.A., Baker D.D., Palmer M.J., Stabler D., Mustard J.A., Power E.F., Borland A.M. & Stevenson P.C. (2013). Caffeine in Floral Nectar Enhances a Pollinator's Memory of Reward. Science, 339, 1202-1204.

Power E.F., Kelly D.L. & Stout J.C. (2013). The impacts of traditional and novel herbicide application methods on target plants, non-target plants and production in intensive grasslands. Weed Research, 53, 131-139.

Dicks L.V., et al. (2013). Identifying key knowledge needs for evidence-based conservation of wild insect pollinators: a collaborative cross-sectoral exercise. Insect Conservation and Diversity, 6, 435-446.

Power, E.F., Kelly, D. L. & Stout, J.C. (2012) Organic farming and landscape structure: effects on insect-pollinated plant diversity in intensively managed grasslands. PloS ONE 7(5), e38073. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038073

Power, E.F., & Stout, J.C. (2011) Organic dairy farming: impacts on insect-flower interaction networks and pollination. Journal of Applied Ecology 48(3): 561-569.
Stout, J. C., Power, E. F., Stanley, D. A., Mullen, S. E. (2011). Pollinators and pollination networks in Irish farmland: implications for conservation of pollination services. Lessons Learned and Future Prospects. Teagasc Biodiversity Conference: Conserving Farmland Biodiversity. Wexford, Ireland.

Copland, A.S., Baylis, J., Power, E. F. & Finney, K. (2008) Breeding waders in cutaway peatlands in County Offaly. In: After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands. Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress, International Peat Society, Jyväskylä, Finland.


Last updated 10 May 2017 botany@tcd.ie.