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Text‐analysis reveals taxonomic and geographic disparities in animal pollination literature

Millard, J; Freeman, R; Newbold, T; (2019) Text‐analysis reveals taxonomic and geographic disparities in animal pollination literature. Ecography 10.1111/ecog.04532. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Ecological systematic reviews and meta‐analyses have significantly increased our understanding of global biodiversity decline. However, for some ecological groups, incomplete and biased datasets have hindered our ability to construct robust, predictive models. One such group consists of the animal pollinators. Approximately 88% of wild plant species are thought to be pollinated by animals, with an estimated annual value of $230–410 billion dollars. Here we apply text‐analysis to quantify the taxonomic and geographical distribution of the animal pollinator literature, both temporally and spatially. We show that the publication of pollinator literature increased rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s. Taxonomically, we show that the distribution of pollinator literature is concentrated in the honey bees (Apis) and bumble bees (Bombus), and geographically in North America and Europe. At least 25% of pollination‐related abstracts mention a species of honey bee and at least 20% a species of bumble bee, and approximately 46% of abstracts are focussed on either North America (32%) or Europe (14%). Although these results indicate strong taxonomic and geographic biases in the pollinator literature, a large number of studies outside North America and Europe do exist. We then discuss how text‐analysis could be used to shorten the literature search for ecological systematic reviews and meta‐analyses, and to address more applied questions related to pollinator biodiversity, such as the identification of likely interacting plant–pollinator pairs and the number of pollinating species.

Type: Article
Title: Text‐analysis reveals taxonomic and geographic disparities in animal pollination literature
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ecog.04532
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04532
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Keywords: animal pollination, ecological systematic review, global biodiversity, named-entity recognition, pollination ecology, text-analysis
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083631
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