Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

The city as a refuge for insect pollinators

Hall, Damon M.; Camilo, Gerardo R.; Tonietto, Rebecca K.; Ollerton, Jeff; Ahrne, Karin; Arduser, Mike; Ascher, John S.; Baldock, Katherine C. R.; Fowler, Robert; Frankie, Gordon; Goulson, Dave; Gunnarsson, Bengt; Hanley, Mick E.; Jackson, Janet I.; Langellotto, Gail; Lowenstein, David; Minor, Emily S.; Philpott, Stacy M.; Potts, Simon G.; Sirohi, Muzafar H.;
Show more authors


Research on urban insect pollinators is changing views on the biological value and ecological importance of cities. The abundance and diversity of native bee species in urban landscapes that are absent in nearby rural lands evidence the biological value and ecological importance of cities and have implications for biodiversity conservation. Lagging behind this revised image of the city are urban conservation programs that historically have invested in education and outreach rather than programs designed to achieve high-priority species conservation results. We synthesized research on urban bee species diversity and abundance to determine how urban conservation could be repositioned to better align with new views on the ecological importance of urban landscapes. Due to insect pollinators' relatively small functional requirementshabitat range, life cycle, and nesting behaviorrelative to larger mammals, we argue that pollinators put high-priority and high-impact urban conservation within reach. In a rapidly urbanizing world, transforming how environmental managers view the city can improve citizen engagement and contribute to the development of more sustainable urbanization.


communication; conservation planning; ecosystem services; funding and philanthropy; governance; politics and policy; sustainability science; urban ecology

Published in

Conservation Biology
2017, Volume: 31, number: 1, pages: 24-29 Publisher: WILEY

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
    SDG15 Life on land

    UKÄ Subject classification


    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)