Wild bee pollinators' importance for macroecology and environmental economy
Céline Claire Pascale Moreaux
Title of thesis
The importance of wild bee pollinators from a macroecological and environmental economics perspective
In this anthropogenic biodiversity crisis, species are lost at alarming rates. Insects such as wild bees are in sharp declines and further losses are expected in the future. Wild bees engage in complex ecosystem dynamics. Yet, their most prominent function is the pollination of wildflowers and crops. This function is threatened in the wake of their declines.
The motivation to halt declines in wild bees and identify responses to the current crisis is the point of departure for this PhD thesis. It aims to increase the understanding of the multitude of ways in which humanity benefits from this ecological group. In addition to measurable values such as crop pollination, wild bees inherent intangible values both for nature and humanity, expressed for instance through cultural and spiritual appreciation. To identify some of these so-called use and non-use values, macroecological and economic valuation techniques are applied in a unique interdisciplinary approach. First, the thesis provides a global assessment of the effects of pollinators on coffee and the role of forest habitat in this process, synergising findings from a number of local studies by use of a systematic literature review and remote sensing (article I). Results confirm the importance of wild bees and other pollinators to crop production systems and indicate that high density forest can support pollinators in these functions. Simultaneously, the study discloses limitations in the use of remote sensing techniques to gain a greater understanding of these processes. Second, the PhD thesis adds to the scarce literature on non-marketed, and particularly non-use values of wild bees and assesses public willingness to engage in wild bee conservation in a stated preference approach in Germany. A choice experiment was used to understand the effect of distance and regional affiliation on respondents’ choices (article II), as well as the valuation of pollination services compared to cultural and non-use values (article III). Both spatial heterogeneity and non-use values are identified as factors affect respondents’ preferences in wild bee conservation. Conclusively, conservation policies would likely benefit from more a holistic perspective of ecosystem functioning and humanity’s interactions with the environment, rather than solely appealing to citizens from a perspective of monetary and personal benefits. Finally, by critically reflecting upon the methods available within environmental economics, this thesis attempts to provide a stepping-stone into exploring their values more holistically in the future.
Professor Niels Strange, Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), University of Copenhagen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Jette Bredahl Jacobsen, Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO), University of Copenhagen, email@example.com
Associate Professor Bo Dalsgaard, Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, GLOBE, University of Copenhagen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Carsten Rahbek, Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, GLOBE, University of Copenhagen, email@example.com
Jeff Ollerton, Self-employed Consultant Scientist and Author
Researcher Jens Abildtrup, INFRA, Nancy, France
Master of Ceremony
Professor Christian Gamborg, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen
How to participate
The PhD defence will take place hybrid.
Via Zoom: https://ucph-ku.zoom.us/j/64292280989
Room: Von Langen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C.
The defence is open to all.
Request a copy of the thesis
If you are interested in a full copy of the thesis, please contact the PhD student or the supervisors.