A) Risk study
The responses of honeybees to anthropogenic factors will be assessed at the study sites using data from honeybees (individual and hive health status, foraging behavior, pesticide analysis on bees and bee products) and their interaction with other pollinators, management practices and environmental data. A model will assess and predict how changes in the composition and structure of landscape elements (including GIs) and management practices (pesticide input and other agricultural practices) will influence pollinators and the pollination service.
B) Determination of biodiversity, abundance and distribution of pollinators
Field sampling campaigns will be conducted using trapping and visual observation techniques. Field observations on pollinator’s visitation rates and plant-pollinator interactions will be assessed before and after the establishment of GI, and data will be used to develop an agent-based model and a network analysis of pollinator communities in oilseed crops to assess the impact of newly-established GI.
C) Territorial analyses
Cartography products displaying and modeling the enhanced GI potential in the project regions will be created. Regional analyses are performed taking into account geographic features, land use (including semi-natural elements), Natura 2000 sites, and landscape connectivity, among others. Digital cartographic products will be generated for GI extension potential in some pilot regions.
A) Design of optimized floristic communities
Partners will work to establish appropriate floral mixtures for their areas based on previous experiences and existing information. In addition, at pilot sites partners will collect field data on the visitation of pollinators to local plant species. This will allow the final determination of recommendations for desirable mixtures.
B) Development of specialized soil amendments for the recovery of ecosystem services
Poll-Ole-GI will develop and test an optimal mixture of organic materials applied as soil amendments associated with the enhanced GI as an added-value feature, reducing environmental contamination from pesticides, herbicides, and nutrients applied to fields. It is expected that this practice can be used to protect pollinator habitat, especially ground-nesting species.
C) Study of the effectiveness of GI to improve the quality of the environment
At all pilot sites over two years, the project will evaluate the benefits of GI on pollinators, on crop yields and seed quality, and soil quality. Pollinators in oilseed crops will be studied at two spatial scales: the field, and the landscape, the possible roles of grasslands, agricultural ecosystem services, and semi-natural elements for the latter scale.
E) Study of the economic, environmental and social viability of the established actions
Poll-Ole-GI will analyze stakeholder perceptions of the status and trends of the pollination service, and their expectations regarding GI in local oleaginous crops. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with key actors previously identified (snowball sampling technique), using the Q-methodology to uncover the existing discourses regarding the usefulness of GI. The social acceptance of GI development will be assessed in the “focus groups” to enhance the viability analysis. “Scenario planning” will be used in the focus groups to advance the proposal of innovative ideas for increasing GI viability.
A) Analysis of the opportunities for integration of GI oriented to pollinators with the current frameworks of agricultural policy and regional measures
Poll-Ole-GI will analyze the current political and legislative situation at the regional, country, and EU levels, identifying and recommending specific opportunities for integration and/or program creation, including analysis and identification of program areas in rural development programs. This activity includes the direct involvement of regional administrations as well as national and European contact points.
B) Communication of the results to the public administration, companies in the oilseed sector, beekeepers, farmers, and local development groups, etc.
The results of GTE1 and GTE2 are communicated to relevant interested groups; this includes associated partners of the project as well as other entities identified during the project’s course. Dissemination and communication of project results will be through various means, including written communications and reports, presentations, meetings, workshops, and a project video. Also, the results are disseminated through European innovation platforms.
C) Technical assistance and advice to investors in GI
Based on results of GTE1 and GTE2, specialized technical seminars, field visits, and demonstrative visits will be arranged to transfer technical results to practitioners including farmers, beekeepers, technicians of public administrations, etc. Technical results will also be disseminated through written communications and reports, presentations, meetings and workshops.
D) Public awareness campaigns
It is crucial that the general public becomes aware of the perils facing pollinating insects and the pollination service and what is being done to address this problem regionally. A public awareness campaign will cover most of the project timespan, engaging public media sources and including participation in specialized meetings, conferences, sustainability fairs, etc.
E) Dissemination in the scientific and technical spheres
The technical results of the project will be disseminated through appropriate technical spheres, based on the production of project protocols and white papers, publications in academic journals, and presentations at technical and scientific conferences. Also, the results are disseminated through European innovation platforms.