Jeff Ollerton

Jeff Ollerton
The University of Northampton | UN · Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology

BSc (Hons), PhD, FHEA

About

202
Publications
125,286
Reads
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11,771
Citations
Citations since 2016
92 Research Items
7254 Citations
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Introduction
During a career spanning more than 30 years, Jeff Ollerton has established himself as one of the world’s leading experts on pollinators and pollination. The author of more than 120 articles and book chapters, and two books, his highly-cited, ground-breaking research has been used by national and international agencies to support efforts to conserve pollinators and their pollination services. He currently holds Visiting Professorships in the UK and in China. https://jeffollerton.co.uk/
Additional affiliations
January 2004 - December 2012
The University of Northampton
September 1995 - February 2017
The University of Northampton
Position
  • Professor
September 1989 - August 1993
Oxford Brookes University
Description
  • PhD project
Education
September 1989 - August 1993
Oxford Brookes University
Field of study
  • Plant reproductive ecology
September 1987 - July 1989
Oxford Brookes University
Field of study
  • Environmental Biology

Publications

Publications (202)
Article
Full-text available
Animal pollination is a vital ecological process in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Economic valuation studies have demonstrated that pollination services may underpin a significant proportion of global crop market outputs. However these assessments are probably under-estimates because they have rarely included nonfood crops, for which ve...
Article
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Background and aims: Modularity is a ubiquitous and important structural property of ecological networks which describes the relative strengths of sets of interacting species and gives insights into the dynamics of ecological communities. However, this has rarely been studied in species-rich, tropical plant-pollinator networks. Working in a biodiv...
Article
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The apparent reduction of solitary and primitively eusocial bees populations has remained a huge concern over the past few decades and urbanisation is considered as one of the factors affecting bees at different scales depending on bee guild. As urbanisation is increasing globally it necessitates more research to understand the complex community dy...
Article
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Pollinators are fundamental to maintaining both biodiversity and agricultural productivity, but habitat destruction, loss of flower resources, and increased use of pesticides are causing declines in their abundance and diversity. Using historical records, we assessed the rate of extinction of bee and flower-visiting wasp species in Britain from the...
Article
Plant-pollinator studies are increasingly using network analysis to investigate the structure and function of such communities. However, many areas of high diversity largely remained unexplored in this way. Our study describes a plant-pollinator meta-network from an overlooked biodiversity hotspot, the Kashmir Himalaya, where we specifically invest...
Article
Introduced species often benefit from escaping their enemies when they are transported to a new range, an idea commonly expressed as the enemy release hypothesis. However, species might shed mutualists as well as enemies when they colonize a new range. Loss of mutualists might reduce the success of introduced populations, or even cause failure to e...
Article
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Bipartite networks of flowering plants and their visitors (potential pollinators) are increasingly being used in studies of the structure and function of these ecological interactions. Whilst they hold much promise in understanding the ecology of plant–pollinator networks and how this may be altered by environmental perturbations, like land-use cha...
Article
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Food system resilience has multiple dimensions. We draw on food system and resilience concepts and review resilience framings of different communities. We present four questions to frame food system resilience (Resilience of what? Resilience to what? Resilience from whose perspective? Resilience for how long?) and three approaches to enhancing resi...
Article
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Food system resilience has multiple dimensions. We draw on food system and resilience concepts and review resilience framings of different communities. We present four questions to frame food system resilience (Resilience of what? Resilience to what? Resilience from whose perspective? Resilience for how long?) and three approaches to enhancing resi...
Article
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Biodiversity is declining through human activities and urbanisation is often seen as a particular concern. Urban settings, however, provide diverse microclimatic conditions for plants and pollinating insects, and therefore may be significant habitats for the conservation of solitary and primitively eusocial bees, a major group of pollinators. This...
Article
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Determining when animal populations have experienced stress in the past is fundamental to understanding how risk factors drive contemporary and future species' responses to environmental change. For insects, quantifying stress and associating it with environmental factors has been challenging due to a paucity of time‐series data and because detecta...
Article
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Insect declines are a global issue with significant ecological and economic ramifications. Yet, we have a poor understanding of the genomic impact these losses can have. Genome‐wide data from historical specimens have the potential to provide baselines of population genetic measures to study population change, with natural history collections repre...
Article
The sexual reproduction of seed plants involves the transfer of male gametes—in pollen—to their female gametes. In flowering plants (angiosperms), this is performed with the stigma of flowers, whereas the gymnosperms (such as conifers and cycads) produce a diversity of structures on their reproductive axes to accomplish the same task. This transfer...
Article
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During the main COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown period of 2020 an impromptu set of pollination ecologists came together via social media and personal contacts to carry out standardised surveys of the flower visits and plants in gardens. The surveys involved 67 rural, suburban and urban gardens, of various sizes, ranging from 61.18° North in Norwa...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Aggregated species occurrence data are increasingly accessible through public databases for the analysis of temporal trends in the geographic distributions of species. However, biases in these data present challenges for statistical inference. We assessed potential biases in data available through GBIF on the occurrences of four flower‐visiting...
Article
Biotic interactions are said to be more specialised in the tropics, and this was also proposed for the pollination systems of columnar cacti from North America. However, it has not yet been tested for a wider set of cactus species. Here, we use the available information about pollination in the Cactaceae to explore the geographic patterns of this m...
Article
The chequered skipper butterfly Carterocephalus palaemon (Pallas, 1771) was declared extinct in England in 1976 after suffering a precipitous decline in range and abundance during the 20th Century. By searching and collating museum and other records, we show how a deeper understanding of this decline can be achieved, thus furthering conservation ob...
Article
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Since Darwin, very long and narrow floral tubes have been known to represent the main floral morphological feature for specialized long-tongued hawkmoth pollination. However, specialization may be driven by other contrivances instead of floral tube morphology. Asclepiads are plants with a complex floral morphology where primary hawkmoth pollination...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aim: Aggregated species occurrence data are increasingly accessible through public databases for the analysis of temporal trends in species’ distributions. However, biases in these data present challenges for robust statistical inference. We assessed potential biases in data available through GBIF on the occurrences of four flower-visiting taxa: be...
Article
Full-text available
Pollinator declines have prompted efforts to assess how land-use change affects insect pollinators and pollination services in agricultural landscapes. Yet many tools to measure insect pollination services, require substantial landscape-scale data and technical expertise. In expert workshops, 3 straightforward methods (desk-based method, field surv...
Article
Heterospecific pollen deposition (HPD) is ubiquitous across plant communities, especially for generalized species which use a diversity of pollinators, and may have negative effects on plant reproduction. However, it is unclear whether temporal changes in the co-flowering community result in changes in HPD patterns. Moreover, community-level studie...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanisation is a prominent and increasing form of land-use change, with the potential to disrupt the interactions between pollinators such as bees and the flowering plants that they visit. This in turn may cause cascading local extinctions and have consequences for pollination services. Network approaches go beyond simple metrics of abundance and...
Poster
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In the last decade there has been a massive rise in the number of animals being sold via online classified websites, with herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) being no exception. In response to growing concerns regarding irresponsible advertising, the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) was established to ensure animals are sold legally and eth...
Article
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The European honeybee Apis mellifera is a highly successful, abundant species and has been introduced into habitats across the globe. As a supergeneralist species, the European honeybee has the potential to disrupt pollination networks, especially in Australia, whose flora and fauna have co-evolved for millions of years. The role of honeybees in po...
Article
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Pollinating species are in decline globally, with land use an important driver. However, most of the evidence on which these claims are made is patchy, based on studies with low taxonomic and geographic representativeness. Here, we model the effect of land-use type and intensity on global pollinator biodiversity, using a local-scale database coveri...
Article
Pollinators have a critical, but largely unappreciated, role to play when it comes to climate change, says Jeff Ollerton
Book
A unique and personal insight into the ecology and evolution of pollinators, their relationships with flowers, and their conservation in a rapidly changing world. The pollination of flowers by insects, birds and other animals is a fundamentally important ecological function that supports both the natural world and human society. Without pollinators...
Article
Patterns in ecology are the products of current factors interacting with history. Nevertheless, few studies have attempted to disentangle the contribution of historical and current factors, such as climate change and pollinator identity and behavior, on plant reproduction. Here, we attempted to separate the relative importance of current and histor...
Book
Full-text available
A unique and personal insight into the ecology and evolution of pollinators, their relationships with flowers, and their conservation in a rapidly changing world. The pollination of flowers by insects, birds and other animals is a fundamentally important ecological function that supports both the natural world and human society. Without pollinator...
Article
Full-text available
PREMISE: Species of Apocynaceae are pollinated by a diverse assemblage of animals. Here we report the frst record of specialized cockroach pollination in the family, involving an endangered climbing vine species, Vincetoxicum hainanense in China. Experiments were designed to provide direct proof of cockroach pollination and compare the effectiveness...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological network theory hypothesizes that the structuring of species interactions can convey stability to the system. Investigating how these structures react to species loss is fundamental for understanding network disassembly or their robustness. However, this topic has mainly been studied in‐silico so far. Here, in an experimental manipulation...
Poster
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In recent years the herpetological trade has become increasingly accessible to pet owners. What was once a specialist hobby between a network of keepers has now become mainstream, with reptiles and amphibians often found in general pet shops and online. Animal welfare legalisation has struggled to keep up with this rapid growth, and we have little...
Article
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For more than a century there has been a fascination with the surprisingly rapid rise and early diversity of flowering plants (angiosperms). Darwin described the seemingly explosive diversification of angiosperms as an “abominable mystery,” and debates continue about the origin and processes driving angiosperm speciation. Dating the origin of angio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ecological network theory hypothesizes a link between structure and stability, but this has mainly been investigated in-silico. In an experimental manipulation, we sequentially removed four generalist plants from real plant-pollinator networks and explored the effects on, and drivers of, species and interaction extinctions, network structure and in...
Article
Insect pollinators face a number of well-documented threats that challenge their survival at an individual and community level. The effect of extreme events on pollinator assemblages has received little attention to date, partly due to a lack of consensus on what constitutes extreme, but also because robust pre-event data is often lacking. Here, th...
Article
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Plant–pollinator relationships are fundamentally important for the conservation of the terrestrial biodiversity that rural communities in low‐income countries rely upon. In Nepal, a country that is biologically rich but economically poor, Rhododendron forests provide a range of ecosystem services that are under threat from overexploitation and clim...
Article
Full-text available
Species extinctions undermine ecosystem functioning, with the loss of a small subset of functionally important species having a disproportionate impact. However, little is known about the effects of species loss on plant-pollinator interactions. We addressed this issue in a field experiment by removing the plant species with the highest visitation...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims Large clades of angiosperms are often characterized by diverse interactions with pol-linators, but how these pollination systems are structured phylogenetically and biogeographically is still uncertain for most families. Apocynaceae is a clade of >5300 species with a worldwide distribution. A database representing >10 % of speci...
Article
Full-text available
Policy-makers often need to rely on experts with disparate fields of expertise when making policy choices in complex, multi-faceted, dynamic environments such as those dealing with ecosystem services. For policy-makers wishing to make evidence-based decisions which will best support pollinator abundance and pollination services, one of the problems...
Article
Full-text available
Widely distributed organisms face different ecological scenarios throughout their range, which can potentially lead to micro-evolutionary differentiation at specific localities. Mating systems of animal pollinated plants are supposed to evolve in response to the availability of local pollinators, with consequent changes in flower morphology. We tes...
Article
Species traits are thought to predict feeding specialization and the vulnerability of a species to extinctions of interaction partners, but the context in which a species evolved and currently inhabits may also matter. Notably, the predictive power of traits may require that traits evolved to fit interaction partners. Furthermore, local abiotic and...
Article
Full-text available
On 28 April 2018 the European Parliament voted for a complete and permanent ban on all outdoor uses of the three most commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides. With the partial exception of the state of Ontario, Canada, governments elsewhere have failed to take action. Below is a letter, signed by 232 scientists from around the world, urgently callin...
Article
Full-text available
Species traits are thought to predict feeding specialization and the vulnerability of a species to extinctions of interaction partners, but the context in which a species evolved and currently inhabits may also matter. Notably, the predictive power of traits may require that traits evolved to fit interaction partners. Furthermore, local abiotic and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Species extinctions undermine ecosystem functioning, with the loss of a small subset of functionally important species having a disproportionate impact. However, little is known about the effects of species loss on plant-pollinator interactions. We addressed this issue in a field experiment by removing the plant species most frequently visited by i...
Chapter
Full-text available
Most tropical plants rely on animals for pollination, thus engaging in complex interaction networks. Here, we present a global overview of pollination networks and point out research gaps and emerging differences between tropical and non-tropical areas. Our review highlights an uneven global distribution of studies biased towards non-tropical areas...
Article
Full-text available
By facilitating plant reproduction, pollinators perform a crucial ecological function that supports the majority of the world's plant diversity, and associated organisms, and a significant fraction of global agriculture. Thus, pollinators are simultaneously vital to supporting both natural ecosystems and human food security, which is a unique posit...
Article
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The popularity of science blogging has increased in recent years, but the number of academic scientists who maintain regular blogs is limited. The role and impact of science communication blogs aimed at general audiences is often discussed, but the value of science community blogs aimed at the academic community has largely been overlooked. Here, w...
Article
Specialization of species is often studied in ecology but its quantification and meaning is disputed. More recently, ecological network analysis has been widely used as a tool to quantify specialization, but here its true meaning is also debated. However, irrespective of the tool used, the geographic scale at which specialization is measured remain...