German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Pollinators and Biodiversity

Drone fly, Eristalis tenax, pollinating a China aster

Our lives and our world would be very barren indeed but for the profusion of flowers, crops and medicinal plants – and the natural wealth of flowering plant life – sustained almost unnoticed by pollinators. Pollinators provide a service that no human being could ever replace, not even with the most advanced technology.

Pollination is a pivotal function in all terrestrial ecosystems, binding together the fate of plants and animals. Plants use animals for sexual reproduction and for pollen transportation and offer rewards such as nectar, pollen, oils and aromatic compounds in return. In this way, pollination sustains biodiversity. Pollination is also highly important to global crop production and ensuring supplies of food.
Pollination as an ecosystem service

Pollinators account for a major share of global biodiversity in their own right. Wild bees and flies are two very diverse groups of species responsible for pollinating many flowering plants. Other animal groups also contribute to pollination, however, including butterflies, beetles, some birds, mammals, bats and even marsupials.
Pollinator biodiversity

English BfN publications and other publications on the subject


Last Change: 27/10/2009