Landscape configurational heterogeneity by small-scale agriculture, not crop diversity, maintains pollinators and plant reproduction in western Europe

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Title: Landscape configurational heterogeneity by small-scale agriculture, not crop diversity, maintains pollinators and plant reproduction in western Europe
Authors: Hass, Annika L. | Kormann, Urs G. | Tscharntke, Teja | Clough, Yann | Baillod, Aliette Bosem | Sirami, Clélia | Fahrig, Lenore | Martin, Jean-Louis | Baudry, Jacques | Bertrand, Colette | Bosch, Jordi | Brotons, Lluís | Burel, Françoise | Georges, Romain | Giralt, David | Marcos-García, M. Ángeles | Ricarte, Antonio | Siriwardena, Gavin | Batáry, Péter
Research Group/s: Biodiversidad y Biotecnología aplicadas a la Biología de la Conservación
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales | Universidad de Alicante. Centro Iberoamericano de la Biodiversidad
Keywords: Bee | Compositional heterogeneity | Field size | Hoverfly | Landscape heterogeneity | Pollen transfer
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: 14-Feb-2018
Publisher: The Royal Society
Citation: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2018, 285(1872): 20172242. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.2242
Abstract: Agricultural intensification is one of the main causes for the current biodiversity crisis. While reversing habitat loss on agricultural land is challenging, increasing the farmland configurational heterogeneity (higher field border density) and farmland compositional heterogeneity (higher crop diversity) has been proposed to counteract some habitat loss. Here, we tested whether increased farmland configurational and compositional heterogeneity promote wild pollinators and plant reproduction in 229 landscapes located in four major western European agricultural regions. High-field border density consistently increased wild bee abundance and seed set of radish (Raphanus sativus), probably through enhanced connectivity. In particular, we demonstrate the importance of crop–crop borders for pollinator movement as an additional experiment showed higher transfer of a pollen analogue along crop–crop borders than across fields or along semi-natural crop borders. By contrast, high crop diversity reduced bee abundance, probably due to an increase of crop types with particularly intensive management. This highlights the importance of crop identity when higher crop diversity is promoted. Our results show that small-scale agricultural systems can boost pollinators and plant reproduction. Agri-environmental policies should therefore aim to halt and reverse the current trend of increasing field sizes and to reduce the amount of crop types with particularly intensive management.
Sponsor: This research was funded by the ERA-Net BiodivERsA, with the national funders French National Research Agency (ANR-11-EBID-0004), German Ministry of Research and Education (FKZ:01LC1104A) and Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, part of the 2011 BiodivERsA call for research proposals. The contribution from the UK was funded by the UK Government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), as project WC1034.
ISSN: 0962-8452 (Print) | 1471-2954 (Online)
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2242
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2018 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society
Peer Review: si
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