A new research project studying the relationship between plants and pollinators that grew from the citizen science campaign has started

In March, the international research project FuncNet (Improving the Functional Connectivity of Grassland Networks for Plant-Pollinator Interactions) led by our work group started. The project studies the landscapes of Estonia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Germany and the relationships between plants and pollinators there. At the opening meeting of the project in the Czech Republic, we discussed how to collect data more precisely during fieldwork, what are the challenges of different countries and how to best organize mutual communication.

FuncNet will improve understanding of the spatio-temporal effects of the area and structural connectivity of semi-natural grasslands - the hotspots of European biodiversity - on various aspects of plant-pollinator interactions in European rural landscapes. The area and connectivity of the historic, exceptionally diverse grassland habitats considered in the project have been greatly reduced over the course of a century due to changes in land use, threatening the functioning and resilience of plant-pollinator networks. Building on the results, the project will propose tools to maintain sustainable levels of biodiversity at landscape, community and genetic level through securing resilient plant-pollinator interactions, and will aim to propose win-win solutions for different stakeholder groups in supporting plant-pollinator networks of European rural landscapes through improved multi-actor governance.

University of Tartu Landscape Biodiversity Group

J. Liivi 2, 50409, Tartu, ESTONIA

Aveliina Helm / +372 5553 8679 / aveliina.helm@ut.ee
Tsipe Aavik / +372 516 1187 / tsipe.aavik@ut.ee