Pollination

Linking back to the above-mentioned research on phenology, this study aims to identify the key pollinators for a number of select flowering species in the national park with a view to gaining a better understanding of the relationship between plant and pollinator and how best to protect this vital relationship.

If we know who the key pollinators are (e.g. birds or bees), we will be in a better position to work with local authorities, communities and stakeholders to arrive at the best possible solutions to safeguard the ecosystem and the natural resources it provides. As an extension, this study can potentially also inform the usage of pesticides in nearby vineyards and the management of industrial waste by-products.

Yet again, this study paves the way for discussions with private and public landowners on how best to protect patches of fynbos in an attempt to sustain pollinator populations and, ultimately, to improve the health of the ecosystem. Ultimately, a healthy plant-pollinator relationship will lead to better production and food security for communities, and awareness will lead to better management and consumption of natural resources.

It is anticipated that information stemming from the fynbos programme will not only result in highly informative awareness and educational material (e.g. a field guide for Nature’s Valley), but will also serve to inform an envisaged study on how best to link fragmented fynbos patches.