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Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation

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Kleijn, D., Winfree, R., Bartomeus, I., Carvalheiro, L. G., Henry, M., Isaacs, R., Klein, A.-M., Kremen, C., M'Gonigle, L. K., Rader, R., Ricketts, T. H., Williams, N. M., Lee Adamson, N., Ascher, J. S., Báldi, A., Batáry, P., Benjamin, F., Biesmeijer, J. C., Blitzer, E. J., Bommarco, R., Brand, M. R., Bretagnolle, V., Button, L., Cariveau, D. P., Chifflet, R., Colville, J. F., Danforth, B. N., Elle, E., Garratt, M. P.D., Herzog, F., Holzschuh, A., Howlett, B. G., Jauker, F., Jha, S., Knop, E., Krewenka, K. M., Le Féon, V., Mandelik, Y., May, E. A., Park, M. G., Pisanty, G., Reemer, M., Riedinger, V., Rollin, O., Rundlöf, M., Sardiñas, H. S., Scheper, J., Sciligo, A. R., Smith, H. G., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Thorp, R., Tscharntke, T., Verhulst, J., Viana, B. F., Vaissière, B. E., Veldtman, R., Westphal, C. and Potts, S. G. (2015) Delivery of crop pollination services is an insufficient argument for wild pollinator conservation. Nature Communications, 6. 7414. ISSN 2041-1723

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8414

Abstract/Summary

There is compelling evidence that more diverse ecosystems deliver greater benefits to people, and these ecosystem services have become a key argument for biodiversity conservation. However, it is unclear how much biodiversity is needed to deliver ecosystem services in a cost-effective way. Here we show that, while the contribution of wild bees to crop production is significant, service delivery is restricted to a limited subset of all known bee species. Across crops, years and biogeographical regions, crop-visiting wild bee communities are dominated by a small number of common species, and threatened species are rarely observed on crops. Dominant crop pollinators persist under agricultural expansion and many are easily enhanced by simple conservation measures, suggesting that cost-effective management strategies to promote crop pollination should target a different set of species than management strategies to promote threatened bees. Conserving the biological diversity of bees therefore requires more than just ecosystem-service-based arguments.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:40511
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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