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Design and Planning of a Transdisciplinary Investigation into Farmland Pollinators: Rationale, Co-Design, and Lessons Learned

Simon Hodge 1, * Oliver Schweiger 2 Alexandra-Maria Klein 3 Simon Potts 4 Cecilia Costa 5 Matthias Albrecht 6 Joachim de Miranda 7 Marika Mand 8 Pilar de la Rúa 9 Maj Rundlöf 10 Eleanor Attridge Robin Dean 11 Philippe Bulet 12 Denis Michez 13 Robert Paxton 14 Aurélie Babin 15 Nicolas Cougoule 15 Marion Laurent 15 Anne-Claire Martel 15 Laurianne Paris 15 Marie-Pierre Rivière 15 Eric Dubois 15 Marie-Pierre Chauzat 16 Karim Arafah 17 Dalel Askri 17 Sebastien Voisin 17 Tomasz Kiljanek 18 Irene Bottero 1 Christophe Dominik 2 Giovanni Tamburini 3 Maria Helena Pereira-Peixoto 3 Dimitry Wintermantel 3 Tom Breeze 4 Elena Cini 4 Deepa Senapathi 4 Gennaro Di Prisco 5 Piotr Medrzycki 5 Steffen Hagenbucher 6 Anina Knauer 6 Janine Schwarz 6 Risto Raimets 8 Vicente Martínez-López 9 Kjell Ivarsson 19 Chris Hartfield 20 Pamela Hunter 21 Mark Brown 22 Jane Stout 1 
Abstract : To provide a complete portrayal of the multiple factors negatively impacting insects in agricultural landscapes it is necessary to assess the concurrent incidence, magnitude, and interactions among multiple stressors over substantial biogeographical scales. Trans-national ecological field investigations with wide-ranging stakeholders typically encounter numerous challenges during the design planning stages, not least that the scientific soundness of a spatially replicated study design must account for the substantial geographic and climatic variation among distant sites. ‘PoshBee’ (Pan-European assessment, monitoring, and mitigation of Stressors on the Health of Bees) is a multi-partner transdisciplinary agroecological project established to investigate the suite of stressors typically encountered by pollinating insects in European agricultural landscapes. To do this, PoshBee established a network of 128 study sites across eight European countries and collected over 50 measurements and samples relating to the nutritional, toxicological, pathogenic, and landscape components of the bees’ environment. This paper describes the development process, rationale, and end-result of each aspect of the of the PoshBee field investigation. We describe the main issues and challenges encountered during the design stages and highlight a number of actions or processes that may benefit other multi-partner research consortia planning similar large-scale studies. It was soon identified that in a multi-component study design process, the development of interaction and communication networks involving all collaborators and stakeholders requires considerable time and resources. It was also necessary at each planning stage to be mindful of the needs and objectives of all stakeholders and partners, and further challenges inevitably arose when practical limitations, such as time restrictions and labour constraints, were superimposed upon prototype study designs. To promote clarity for all stakeholders, for each sub-component of the study, there should be a clear record of the rationale and reasoning that outlines how the final design transpired, what compromises were made, and how the requirements of different stakeholders were accomplished. Ultimately, multi-national agroecological field studies such as PoshBee benefit greatly from the involvement of diverse stakeholders and partners, ranging from field ecologists, project managers, policy legislators, mathematical modelers, and farmer organisations. While the execution of the study highlighted the advantages and benefits of large-scale transdisciplinary projects, the long planning period emphasized the need to formally describe a design framework that could facilitate the design process of future multi-partner collaborations.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 9:53:17 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 5:14:27 PM

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Simon Hodge, Oliver Schweiger, Alexandra-Maria Klein, Simon Potts, Cecilia Costa, et al.. Design and Planning of a Transdisciplinary Investigation into Farmland Pollinators: Rationale, Co-Design, and Lessons Learned. Sustainability, MDPI, 2022, 14 (17), pp.10549. ⟨10.3390/su141710549⟩. ⟨anses-03771108⟩

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