12 December, 2016

Insect pollinators can triple the commercial value of Christmas holly and mistletoe

by Ollerton et al.

(A) Mistletoe and (B) holly berries growing on female plants in situ, and the same species packaged displayed for retail (C & D) Photos by J. Ollerton.

Holly and mistletoe are two seasonal crops that play a culturally important role as symbols of Christmas across the world, though both also have pre-Christian pagan connotations.  Now for the first time the role of insect pollinators in determining the commercial value of these plants has been investigated, using sales records going back over the last eleven years from Britain's largest annual auction of holly and mistletoe, held every year in Worcestershire. 
Analysis of the sales records of Nick Champion Auctions in Tenbury Wells shows that insect pollination raises the sale price of these crops by on average two to three times. 

Read the whole summary in: English!
Read the scientific publication in JPE.

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