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Buzz Pollination Working Group

Coordinators

Patrícia Nunes-Silva - University of Guelph
Avery Russell - University of Pittsburgh
Mario Vallejo-Marin - University of Stirling

Affiliation

The ICPPR Buzz Pollination Group is an integral part of the International Commission for Plant Pollinator Relationships (formerly the ICPBR and before that the ICBB). The ICPPR is one of the 82 scientific commissions of the IUBS (International Union for Biological Sciences) which is connected to the ICSU (International Council of the Scientific Unions).

 The ICPPR Buzz Pollination Group is a non-profit organisation of highly interdisciplinary researchers with international and global representation, with common interest in the study of insects that produce vibrations to collect the pollen from plants dependent on these pollinators for pollination service (buzz pollination). The information provided by the experts within the Buzz Pollination Group is intended to serve as a foundation to base informed decisions related to biodiversity, conservation, pollination services, and crop yield in buzz pollination systems.

Background and mission

Buzz pollination describes the pollination system in which insects produce vibrations to extract and collect pollen from flowers with specialised flower morphologies, incidentally pollinating these flowers. More than 20,000 species of flowering plants are thought to have evolved flower morphologies associated with vibratory pollen collection, including crops such as tomatoes, blueberries, and kiwifruit. Vibratory pollen collection behavior has evolved at least 45 times in the evolutionary history of bees and includes around 60% (12,000) bee species. There is also one hover fly capable of vibratory pollen collection.

The Buzz Pollination Group (BPG) was formed during the XI International Symposium of Pollination in Berlin (2018) in response to what was probably the first session dedicated to buzz pollination of any conference. This symposium included presentations by Patrícia Nunes-Silva, Avery Russell, Penelope R. Whitehorn, Klaus Lunau, Lislie Solís-Montero, Mario Vallejo-Marín, and Vinícius L. G. Brito and showcased the rapidly growing interest in buzz pollination across diverse research groups applying a variety of approaches. Despite the broad interest in buzz pollination, the broader community lacks a group that brings together researchers interested in buzz pollination. Therefore, the mission of the ICPPR Buzz Pollination Group is to provide a platform to advance, promote, and consolidate the study of buzz pollination. The group also aims to develop, improve and standardize methodologies and concepts related to buzz pollination in order to facilitate the exchange of information and comparison of experimental results across plant and bee systems. Finally, the BPG will endeavour to disseminate knowledge on buzz pollination across both academic and non-academic audiences. 

Membership

ICPPR membership is open to all and no restrictions are placed on participation. All members of the Council, participants, and members of the ICPPR Buzz Pollination Group act on a voluntary basis and are therefore unpaid for their duties. Experts represent themselves and not  their professional affiliation.

Current tasks and cooperative activities

The aims of the BPG are to link scientists interested in buzz pollination, and to standardize the concepts, terminology, and methods associated with the study of buzz pollination.

How the group works

The BPG will provide a platform to link researchers interested in buzz pollination, and encourage the exchange of knowledge and methodological approaches to study buzz pollination. We will use email lists and social media to recruit new members to the BPG and to maintain the exchange of knowledge among members. We will also use the group?s membership to promote and disseminate studies on buzz pollination and to increase public awareness of the importance of bees in the reproduction of buzz pollinated flowers (including crop species). Finally, we will organise symposia and workshops to discuss and promote the subject at both national and international meetings.

To sign up to the listserve go to:
http://lists.stir.ac.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/buzzpollination
The address for the list is: buzzpollination@lists.stir.ac.uk 
The twitter account is @buzzpollination

Group policy

We will use this platform to actively promote and advance an inclusive and harassment free research environment for scientists of all career stages, thus serving as a model for other working groups. We will actively solicit speakers from minority serving institutions and we will actively push our symposia to reflect gender and LGBTQ equity and to be ethnically & nationally diverse. Research we conduct will recognize treaty lands and territories when appropriate and in less resourced countries we will seek out local collaborations.

Funding

The ICPPR Buzz Pollination Group currently has no external funding, but we welcome suggestions for potential funding sources to further our activities.