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Sci Adv. 2019 Oct 16;5(10):eaax0121. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax0121. eCollection 2019 Oct.

A global synthesis reveals biodiversity-mediated benefits for crop production.

Author information

1
Institute for Alpine Environment, Eurac Research, Viale Druso 1, 39100 Bozen/Bolzano, Italy.
2
Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.
3
Grupo de Ecología de la Polinización, INIBIOMA, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, CONICET, 8400 Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina.
4
Agroecology and Environment, Agroscope, Reckenholzstrasse 191, 8046 Zurich, Switzerland.
5
Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC), Integrative Ecology, E-41092 Sevilla, Spain.
6
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.
7
Departamento de Ecologia, Universidade Federal de Goias (UFG), Goiânia, Brazil.
8
Faculdade de Ciencias, Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (CE3C), Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal.
9
Natural Capital Project, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94618, USA.
10
CSIRO, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia.
11
Instituto de Investigaciones en Recursos Naturales, Agroecología y Desarrollo Rural (IRNAD), Sede Andina, Universidad Nacional de Río Negro (UNRN) y CONICET, Mitre 630, CP 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina.
12
Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.
13
Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
14
Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
15
Global Lands Program, The Nature Conservancy, 117 E. Mountain Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524, USA.
16
Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 3a, Wageningen 6708 PB, Netherlands.
17
IRES and Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
18
Department of Entomology and Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Michigan State University, 204 CIPS, 578 Wilson Ave, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
19
Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.
20
DAFNAE, University of Padova, viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Padova, Italy.
21
School of Environment and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2350, Australia.
22
Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund University, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden.
23
Department of Biology, Lund University, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden.
24
Agroecology, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Göttingen, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.
25
USC1339 INRA-CNRS, CEBC UMR 7372, CNRS and Université de La Rochelle, Beauvoir sur Niort 79360, France.
26
INRA, Unité de Recherche Pluridisciplinaire Prairies et Plantes Fourragères (URP3F), Lusignan 86600, France.
27
Functional Agrobiodiversity, Department of Crop Sciences, University of Göttingen, Germany.
28
Departamento de Zootecnia-CCA, Universidade Federal do Ceará, 60.356-000 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.
29
Farming Systems Ecology, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen, Netherlands.
30
Chair of Nature Conservation and Landscape Ecology, University of Freiburg, Tennenbacher Straße 4, 79106 Freiburg, Germany.
31
LTSER Zone Atelier Plaine and Val de Sevre, CEBC UMR 7372, CNRS and Université de La Rochelle, Beauvoir sur Niort 79360, France.
32
Arthropods Department, Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
33
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Estación Experimental Concordia, Estacion Yuqueri y vias del Ferrocarril s/n, 3200 Entre Rios, Argentina.
34
Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.
35
Instituto de Ecología Regional (IER), Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, CONICET, 4107 Yerba Buena, Tucumán, Argentina.
36
W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI 49060, USA.
37
Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Mato Grosso, Campus of Barra do Garças/MT, 78600-000, Brazil.
38
Center of Sustainable Development, University of Brasília (UnB)-Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, Asa Norte, Brasília-DF 70910-900, Brazil.
39
Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, Netherlands.
40
Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME44TB, UK.
41
INRA, UR 1115, Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles, 84000 Avignon, France.
42
Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, Reading University, Reading RG6 6AR, UK.
43
Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53705, USA.
44
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), CEP 69.067-375 Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.
45
Human-Environment Systems, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, Department of Biological Sciences, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725, USA.
46
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, 205 W 24th Street, 401 Biological Laboratories, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
47
Department of Biology and Environment, University of Haifa, Oranim, Tivon 36006, Israel.
48
Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, 125 Waters Hall, Manhattan, KS 66503, USA.
49
Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, 3498838 Haifa, Israel.
50
Institute for Plant Science and Microbiology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.
51
Bioversity International, Bangalore 560 065, India.
52
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bangalore, India.
53
Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131, USA.
54
Department of Environmental Studies, Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 9812, USA.
55
Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, Division of Conservation Biology, Vegetation Ecology and Landscape Ecology, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, 1030 Vienna, Austria.
56
Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 1881 Natural Area Drive, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA.
57
Agrosavia, Centro de Investigación Obonuco, Km 5 vía Obonuco, Pasto, Nariño, Colombia.
58
Agriculture, Livestock and Agroforestry Program, Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Cartago, Turrialba 30501, Costa Rica.
59
National Audubon Society, Boulder, CO 80305, USA.
60
Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
61
Cátedra de Avicultura, Cunicultura y Apicultura, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, CABA C1417DSE, Argentina.
62
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.
63
Department of Ecology, UnB-Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, Brasília-DF 70910-900, Brazil.
64
Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
65
INRA, UMR 1065 Santé et Agroécologie du Vignoble, ISVV, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, F-33883 Villenave d'Ornon Cedex, France.
66
INIBIOMA, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, CONICET, Quintral 1250, 8400 Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina.
67
Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F), Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
68
Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
69
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA.
70
South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Private Bag X7, Claremont 7735, South Africa.
71
School of Agriculture and Food Science and Earth Institute, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
72
School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.
73
Institute for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services, School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 188-0002 Tokyo, Japan.
74
Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 1 Matsunosato, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8687, Japan.
75
Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40170-210 Salvador, Brazil.
76
Bio-Protection Research Centre, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand.
77
Fukushima Branch, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 963-770 Fukushima, Japan.
78
Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC 20005, USA.
79
Department of Health and Environmental Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, 215123, Suzhou, China.

Abstract

Human land use threatens global biodiversity and compromises multiple ecosystem functions critical to food production. Whether crop yield-related ecosystem services can be maintained by a few dominant species or rely on high richness remains unclear. Using a global database from 89 studies (with 1475 locations), we partition the relative importance of species richness, abundance, and dominance for pollination; biological pest control; and final yields in the context of ongoing land-use change. Pollinator and enemy richness directly supported ecosystem services in addition to and independent of abundance and dominance. Up to 50% of the negative effects of landscape simplification on ecosystem services was due to richness losses of service-providing organisms, with negative consequences for crop yields. Maintaining the biodiversity of ecosystem service providers is therefore vital to sustain the flow of key agroecosystem benefits to society.

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