Revealing the secret cocoa pollinators
The importance of pollinators to ensure successful harvests and thus global food security is widely acknowledged. However, the specific pollinators for many 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 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 can enhance tiny cocoa pollinators. The research was published in Biological Conservation.