Aarhus University Seal

Investigating Plant–Pollinator Relationships in the Aegean: the approaches of the project POL-AEGIS (The Pollinators of the Aegean Archipelago: Diversity and Threats)

Project: Research

  • Univ. Mytilene
See relations at Aarhus University


POL-AEGIS is carried out in the framework of the Programme “Education and Lifelong Learning” and is co-financed by the EU (European Social Fund) and national funds
Worldwide, there is a well-documented crisis for bees and other pollinators which represent a fundamental biotic capital for wild life conservation, ecosystem function, and crop production. Among all pollinators of the world, bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) constitute the major group in species number and importance, followed by hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae). The Aegean constitutes one of the world’s hotspots for wild bee and other pollinator diversity including flies (mainly hoverflies and bee-flies), beetles, and butterflies. Despite this advantage, our present knowledge on Greek pollinators is poor, due to a lack of focused and systematic research, absence of relevant taxonomic keys, and a general lack of taxonomic experts in the country. As a result, assessments of pollinator loss cannot be carried out and the causes for the potential pollinator loss in the country remain unknown. Consequently, the desperately needed National Red Data list for pollinators cannot be compiled.
This new research (2012–2015) aims to contribute to the knowledge of the pollinator diversity in Greece, the threats pollinators face, as well as the impacts these threats may have on pollination services. The research is conducted in the Aegean archipelago on >20 islands and several mainland sites in Greece and Turkey. Prime goals are (i) the assessment of bee and hoverfly diversity (species, genetic), (ii) their pollination services and (iii) the effects of climate change, grazing, intensive bee-keeping, fires, electromagnetic radiation on bee diversity and ecology, as well as on plant–pollinator networks. At the same time, this research contributes to the taxonomic capital in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean, focusing on the creation of the first identification keys for pollinators, the training of new scientists, as well as the enrichment and further development of the permanent reference collection of insect pollinators established at the University of the Aegean, the so called Melissotheque of the Aegean.
Effective start/end date01/01/201231/12/2015

ID: 128963018