Reflections on, and visions for, the changing field of pollination ecology

T. M. Knight, T. L. Ashman, J. M. Bennett, J. H. Burns, S. Passonneau, J. A. Steets

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Since the launch of Ecology Letters in 1998, the field of Pollination Ecology has changed considerably in its focus. In this review, we discuss the major discoveries across the past two decades. We quantitatively synthesise the frequency by which different concepts and topics appeared in the peer-reviewed literature, as well as the connections between these topics. We then look forward to identify pressing research frontiers and opportunities for additional integration in the future. We find that there has been a shift towards viewing plant–pollinator interactions as networks and towards understanding how global drivers influence the plants, pollinators and the ecosystem service of pollination. Future frontiers include moving towards a macroecological view of plant–pollinator interactions, understanding how ecological intensification and urbanisation will influence pollination, considering other interactions, such as plant–microbe–pollinator networks, and understanding the causes and consequences of extinctions. Pollination Ecology is poised to advance our basic understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape plant–animal interactions and to create applied knowledge that informs conservation decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1282-1295
Number of pages14
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


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