A review of the pollinators associated with decaying wood, old trees and tree wounds in Great Britain.

Published online
28 Apr 2021
Published by
Woodland Trust
Content type

Falk, S.

Publication language
Great Britain & UK & England & Scotland & Wales


This review identifies over 320 saproxylic insects that visit flowers on a regular or occasional basis in England, Wales and Scotland. That represents 16% of Britain's approximately 2000 saproxylic insects. It highlights the tremendous variety of saproxylic microhabitats used by those species for larval development, including those associated with older living trees, as well as dead trees, detached dead wood, and wood associated fungi. It also highlights the tremendous variety of flowers visited by saproxylic insects but shows the particularly high importance of common hawthorn, bramble and umbellifers such as hogweed, and stresses the need to promote suitable flowery habitat at sites with old trees or dead wood. The proportion of saproxylic flower-visitors with rarity grades or conservation statuses is shown to be unusually high for a habitat-based assemblage, reflecting the low coverage plus widespread decline and deterioration of habitats rich in dead wood and old trees.

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