Minimising Risks of Global Change by Enhancing Resilience of Pollinators in Agricultural Systems
Pollination of wild and crop plants by animal pollinators is a key ecosystem service that is important to human welfare. Across Europe, climatic conditions are the most important drivers of occurrence and richness of pollinators followed by land cover and soil conditions. However, the example of recent range shifts of important pollinators such as the bumblebees shows that northern range expansions can be limited while southern range contractions can be considerable, leading to severe consequences under future scenarios. The way we utilize our landscape is a likely reason for such strong effects since the response to changing temperature conditions strongly depends on the amount of semi-natural area available in a landscape. In particular, the number of bee species is less sensitive to increasing temperatures when the amount of semi-natural habitat is high, while species richness drastically declines in intensively used agricultural landscapes and even more so with increasing temperatures. Such interactive effects of major drivers of global change bear a big chance for enhancing resilience in pollinator communities and thus in food production systems, e.g. by increasing the amount of semi-natural habitat as is the goal of the EU strategy for Green Infrastructure and some of the regulations in the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
KeywordsPollination Climate change Land-use change Resilience Mitigation
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