The Birds and the Bees
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The Birds and the Bees. Rose Wilcox, Darren Evans, Jane Bunting and Graham Scott Adapted by Alan Parkinson. Contents. What are ecological networks? Why is restoration of moorland important? Restoration so far What are we going to do? Applications. Bees are pollinators.

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The Birds and the Bees

Rose Wilcox, Darren Evans, Jane Bunting and Graham Scott

Adapted by Alan Parkinson


What are ecological networks?

Why is restoration of moorland important?

Restoration so far

What are we going to do?


Bees are pollinators
Bees are pollinators

How successful is ecologicalrestoration in re-establishing these pollinators.

Bees also have parasites: external and internal.

What are ecological networks
What are ecological networks?

  • Ecological networks are a way of describing the links between species within an ecosystem.

  • These networks can be:

    • Qualitative

What are ecological networks1
What are ecological networks?

Level 4: Insects that live on and parasitise the insects and parasites in level 3

Level 3: Insects that live on and parasitise insects from level 2

Level 2: Insects that feed on heather

Level 1: Heather

Key questions
Key Questions

Can ecological networks ever be properly reinstated in restored heathland areas?

Does the function of species change with age of the restored sites?

When are parasites reinstated as the top trophic level?

Why is uk moorland restoration important
Why is UK moorland restoration important ?

Heather moorland is rarer thanrainforest and 75% of remaining heathland is found in Britain.

Moorland is of international global importance, not only because of its limited distribution but also because of its association with rare and threatened species.

10 of the 46 bird species inhabiting heather moorland are on the IUCN Red List of greatest conservational concern and 22 are on the Amber List.

Heathland also provides the ecosystem service of being aesthetically pleasing and being of cultural importance.

Restoration so far
Restoration so far

In 2003 the Moors for the Future Partnership formed, including organisations such as the Peak District National Park Authority, National Trust, Natural England, United Utilities, Severn Trent Water, Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Derbyshire County Council and RSPB.

The aim of the partnership was to ‘undo’ some of the damage done on the Peak District and south Pennines over the last 150 years by revegetating large areas of bare peat

Restoration so far1
Restoration so far

Lime and fertilisers have been applied to improve soil conditions.

Once soil is stable, nursery grasses are added to create a bed of roots.

Native moorland plug plants are then planted and vegetation growth is monitored.

Biodiversity and ecological restorationhave so far not been monitored.

What are we going to do
What are we going to do?

5 restored sites between 2 and 8 years old and 1 pristine site.

Each site will contain 4 replicates, each with an area of 40x40m.

During a 1 hour period at each site all flower visitors will be collected.

Specimens will be identified to species and mouth parts, legs and abdomen will be swabbed for pollen.


This will be the first study to investigate how the function of an ecological network changes over time in restored sites.

By using parasitoids as an indicator of restoration success this study can assess the success of current restoration projects to restore the ecological functions of the target ecosystem.

If current restoration projects are found to be unsuccessful in restoring healthy ecosystems new management strategies must be initiated before we lose UK heathlands all together.


Dr Darren Evans

Dr Jane Bunting

Dr Graham Scott

Jonathon Walker and the MFF partnership

“ It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and so dependant on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us”

Charles Darwin, Origin of Species