The relationship between pollinator and flower is one of the most intimate in nature—the looping, seductive buzz, the tumescent bulge of a gaudy flower bud, the kiss of pollen. Yet this sweet symbiosis is also critical to the health of our world.
“Sixty to 70 percent of all flowering plants require some sort of animal to pollinate them and nearly 50 percent of plants are limited by too few pollinators,” says Dr. Carol Boggs of Stanford’s Center for Conservation Biology. “Roughly a quarter of our food production depends on animal pollinators.”
Boggs will present a lecture Saturday entitled, “Vanishing Pollinators: What Does It All Mean?” in conjunction with the opening of an exhibit of photographs by Carll Goodpasture at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History.
A celebration of the close relationship between flowering plants and the animals that depend on them, Goodpasture’s photographs bring to life this often unseen and vital interrelationship while publicizing the serious threat to its continued existence. Studies have indicated that pollinator populations are declining worldwide at a rapid rate because of habitat destruction, industrial pollution, and the misuse of pesticides.
“Most of the reason that native pollinators are declining are because of habitat destruction and pollution,” Boggs says. “But invasive species can play a significant role as well, especially in California.”
Boggs points out that European grasses introduced by the Spanish have invaded the hills outside out of Monterey, usurping land from the native flowering plants which traditionally supported pollinators.
The aptly named Goodpasture, who divides his time between Norway and California, has been photographing nature for more than 35 years. While best known in the biomedical sciences for discoveries in human clinical genetics, he is recognized as a skilled photographer with works exhibited internationally at museums such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. As an entomologist, cytogeneticist and nature photographer, he combines the skills of a scientist with the concern of an ecologist.
He also has the eye of an artist. The images of “Vanishing Pollinators” are remarkable for both their color and their composition. His vivid photographs reveal both the beauty and the mechanics of these remarkable animals as they engage in the secret, intimate dance that keeps the world fed.
Dr. Carol Boggs will speak on Saturday, April 9 at 2pm. “Vanishing Pollinators” will hang at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History until June 4. 165 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove. 648-5716 or www.pgmuseum.org.