Pollination ecology in the 21st Century: Key questions for future research


  • Carolin Mayer
  • Lynn Adler
  • W. Scott Armbruster
  • Amots Dafni
  • Connal Eardley
  • Shuang-Quan Huang
  • Peter G. Kevan
  • Jeff Ollerton
  • Laurence Packer
  • Axel Ssymank
  • Jane C. Stout
  • Simon G. Potts




Angiosperms, conservation, evolution, ecosystem services, diversity, mutualism, species interactions


To inspire new ideas in research on pollination ecology, we list the most important unanswered questions in the field. This list was drawn up by contacting 170 scientists from different areas of pollination ecology and asking them to contribute their opinion on the greatest knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Almost 40% of them took part in our email poll and we received more than 650 questions and comments, which we classified into different categories representing various aspects of pollination research. The original questions were merged and synthesised, and a final vote and ranking led to the resultant list. The categories cover plant sexual reproduction, pollen and stigma biology, abiotic pollination, evolution of animal-mediated pollination, interactions of pollinators and floral antagonists, pollinator behaviour, taxonomy, plant-pollinator assemblages, geographical trends in diversity, drivers of pollinator loss, ecosystem services, management of pollination, and conservation issues such as the implementation of pollinator conservation. We focused on questions that were of a broad scope rather than case-specific; thus, addressing some questions may not be feasible within single research projects but constitute a general guide for future directions. With this compilation we hope to raise awareness of pollination-related topics not only among researchers but also among non-specialists including policy makers, funding agencies and the public at large.

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How to Cite

Mayer, C., Adler, L., Armbruster, W. S., Dafni, A., Eardley, C., Huang, S.-Q., … Potts, S. G. (2011). Pollination ecology in the 21st Century: Key questions for future research. Journal of Pollination Ecology, 3, 8–23. https://doi.org/10.26786/1920-7603(2011)1




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