Increasing crop heterogeneity enhances multitrophic diversity across agricultural regions

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Title: Increasing crop heterogeneity enhances multitrophic diversity across agricultural regions
Authors: Sirami, Clélia | Gross, Nicolas | Baillod, Aliette Bosem | Bertrand, Colette | Carrié, Romain | Hass, Annika | Henckel, Laura | Miguet, Paul | Vuillot, Carole | Alignier, Audrey | Girard, Jude | Batáry, Péter | Clough, Yann | Violle, Cyrille | Giralt, David | Bota, Gerard | Badenhausser, Isabelle | Lefebvre, Gaëtan | Gauffre, Bertrand | Vialatte, Aude | Calatayud, François | Gil-Tena, Assu | Tischendorf, Lutz | Mitchell, Scott | Lindsay, Kathryn | Georges, Romain | Hilaire, Samuel | Recasens, Jordi | Solé-Senan, Xavier Oriol | Robleño, Irene | Bosch, Jordi | Barrientos, Jose Antonio | Ricarte, Antonio | Marcos-García, M. Ángeles | Miñano, Jesús | Mathevet, Raphaël | Gibon, Annick | Baudry, Jacques | Balent, Gérard | Poulin, Brigitte | Burel, Françoise | Tscharntke, Teja | Bretagnolle, Vincent | Siriwardena, Gavin | Ouin, Annie | Brotons, Lluis | Martin, Jean-Louis | Fahrig, Lenore
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: Multitaxa | Biodiversity | Crop mosaic | Farmland | Landscape complementation
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: 13-Aug-2019
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Citation: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2019, 116(33): 16442-16447. doi:10.1073/pnas.1906419116
Abstract: Agricultural landscape homogenization has detrimental effects on biodiversity and key ecosystem services. Increasing agricultural landscape heterogeneity by increasing seminatural cover can help to mitigate biodiversity loss. However, the amount of seminatural cover is generally low and difficult to increase in many intensively managed agricultural landscapes. We hypothesized that increasing the heterogeneity of the crop mosaic itself (hereafter “crop heterogeneity”) can also have positive effects on biodiversity. In 8 contrasting regions of Europe and North America, we selected 435 landscapes along independent gradients of crop diversity and mean field size. Within each landscape, we selected 3 sampling sites in 1, 2, or 3 crop types. We sampled 7 taxa (plants, bees, butterflies, hoverflies, carabids, spiders, and birds) and calculated a synthetic index of multitrophic diversity at the landscape level. Increasing crop heterogeneity was more beneficial for multitrophic diversity than increasing seminatural cover. For instance, the effect of decreasing mean field size from 5 to 2.8 ha was as strong as the effect of increasing seminatural cover from 0.5 to 11%. Decreasing mean field size benefited multitrophic diversity even in the absence of seminatural vegetation between fields. Increasing the number of crop types sampled had a positive effect on landscape-level multitrophic diversity. However, the effect of increasing crop diversity in the landscape surrounding fields sampled depended on the amount of seminatural cover. Our study provides large-scale, multitrophic, cross-regional evidence that increasing crop heterogeneity can be an effective way to increase biodiversity in agricultural landscapes without taking land out of agricultural production.
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, German Research Foundation and Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, part of the 2011 BiodivERsA call for research proposals. The UK component of this research was funded by the UK Government Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), as Project WC1034. The Canadian component of this research was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Strategic Project, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Environment Canada, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. N.G. was supported by the AgreenSkills+ Fellowship programme which has received funding from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement FP7-609398 (AgreenSkills+ contract). A.G.-T. (Juan de la Cierva Fellow, JCI-2012-12089) was funded by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (Spain). C. Violle was supported by the European Research Council Starting Grant Project “Ecophysiological and biophysical constraints on domestication of crop plants” (Grant ERC-StG-2014-639706-CONSTRAINTS). A.R.’s position at the University of Alicante is funded by the “Vicerrectorado de Investigación y Transferencia de Conocimiento.”
ISSN: 0027-8424 (Print) | 1091-6490 (Online)
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1906419116
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2019 National Academy of Sciences
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:Research funded by the EU
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