Pollination Stress

Bees, butterflies and other pollinators exposed to common air pollution are significantly impaired in their ability to sniff out the plants that depend upon them, according to new field research.

British scientists say the pollution, combined with land use changes, are also responsible for an up to 70% drop in the number of pollinating insects. Writing in the journal Environmental Pollution, the team said they exposed a test field to levels of pollution commonly found near highways and observed up to 90% fewer flower visits by the pollinators. They believe the pollution changes the scents of flowers, making them harder to find.

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