Gallai N, Salles JM, Settele J, Vaissiere BE Economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline. Ecol Econ

INRA, UMR LAMETA, 2 place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France
Ecological Economics (Impact Factor: 2.72). 02/2009; 68(3):810-821. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2008.06.014
Source: RePEc


There is mounting evidence of pollinator decline all over the world and consequences in many agricultural areas could be significant. We assessed these consequences by measuring 1) the contribution of insect pollination to the world agricultural output economic value, and 2) the vulnerability of world agriculture in the face of pollinator decline. We used a bioeconomic approach, which integrated the production dependence ratio on pollinators, for the 100 crops used directly for human food worldwide as listed by FAO. The total economic value of pollination worldwide amounted to €153 billion, which represented 9.5% of the value of the world agricultural production used for human food in 2005. In terms of welfare, the consumer surplus loss was estimated between €190 and €310 billion based upon average price elasticities of − 1.5 to − 0.8, respectively. Vegetables and fruits were the leading crop categories in value of insect pollination with about €50 billion each, followed by edible oil crops, stimulants, nuts and spices. The production value of a ton of the crop categories that do not depend on insect pollination averaged €151 while that of those that are pollinator-dependent averaged €761. The vulnerability ratio was calculated for each crop category at the regional and world scales as the ratio between the economic value of pollination and the current total crop value. This ratio varied considerably among crop categories and there was a positive correlation between the rate of vulnerability to pollinators decline of a crop category and its value per production unit. Looking at the capacity to nourish the world population after pollinator loss, the production of 3 crop categories – namely fruits, vegetables, and stimulants - will clearly be below the current consumption level at the world scale and even more so for certain regions like Europe. Yet, although our valuation clearly demonstrates the economic importance of insect pollinators, it cannot be considered as a scenario since it does not take into account the strategic responses of the markets.

Download full-text


Available from: Jean-Michel Salles,
  • Source
    • "Approximately 35% of crops depend directly on pollinators (Klein et al., 2007), accounting for an estimated, annual value of 153 billion Euros (Gallai et al., 2009). The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most widely managed pollinator of crops. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neonicotinoid insecticides (NIs) and their transformation products were detected in honey, pollen and honey bees, (Apis mellifera) from hives located within 30 km of the City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam were the most frequently detected NIs, found in 68 and 75% of honey samples at mean concentrations of 8.2 and 17.2 ng g(-1) wet mass, (wm), respectively. Clothianidin was also found in >50% of samples of bees and pollen. Concentrations of clothianidin in bees exceed the LD50 in 2 of 28 samples, while for other NIs concentrations were typically 10-100-fold less than the oral LD50. Imidaclorpid was detected in ∼30% of samples of honey, but only 5% of pollen and concentrations were <LOD in bees. Transformation products of Imidaclorpid, imidaclorpid-Olefin and imidacloprid-5-Hydroxy were detected with greater frequency and at greater mean concentrations indicating a need for more focus on potential effects of these transformation products than the untransformed, active ingredient NIs. Results of an assessment of the potential dietary uptake of NIs from honey and pollen by bees over winter, during which worker bees live longer than in summer, suggested that, in some hives, consumption of honey and pollen during over-wintering might have adverse effects on bees.
    Chemosphere 02/2016; 144:2321-2328. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.10.135 · 3.34 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The past decade has seen a multitude of dramatic reports on honeybee (Apis mellifera) declines that raised great public and societal concern. Indeed the value of honeybees for human society has been estimated to exceed 153 billion (Gallai et al., 2008) primarily as key pollinators of many crops. The function as generalist pollinators also puts them into a key position for any ecosystem functioning that arguably exceeds any conceivable pecuniary value. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent losses of honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies have been linked to several non-exclusive factors; such as pests, parasites, pesticides (e.g., neonicotinoids) and other toxins. Whereas these losses pose a threat to apiculture, the number of globally managed colonies appeared to be less affected because beekeepers replace lost colonies. From a socioeconomic and ecological perspective the number of managed colonies is arguably more relevant when addressing the issue of apiculture and pollination services provided by honeybees. We here use the FAO data base to dissect the interactions between the global honey market and the number of colonies. Global scale analyses do not show a general colony decline. Whereas Western Europe and the US show suffer colony declines, other regions show considerable increase. We could not find any link between the colony dynamics and the occurrence of specific pathogens or the use of pesticides. In contrast, changes in the political and socioeconomic system show strong effects on apiculture. In addition, many countries show a tight negative correlation between honey import and the number of managed colonies. For some countries, the amount of honey produced per colony is highly positively correlated with the amount of honey imports, and we cannot exclude large scale relabeling of imported to nationally produced honey. It is very clear that honey trade is a dominating factor for the number of managed colonies since countries with a strong import and export ratio are those suffering most strongly from colony declines.
    Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 01/2016; 216:44-50. DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2015.09.027 · 3.40 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The role of honey bees as pollinators is vital to the environment and economy, as bees are a key pollinator species for agriculture. The economic value of honey bees is estimated to be more than 225 billion US dollars worldwide (Gallai et al., 2009). DWV, a member of the single-stranded positive-sense RNA genus Iflavirus (Lanzi et al, 2006), exists as a group of closely related viruses, often considered as variants of the same species complex (Ryabov et al., 2014). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Treatment of emerging RNA viruses is hampered by the high mutation and replication rates that enable these viruses to operate as a quasispecies. Declining honey bee populations have been attributed to the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and its affiliation with Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). In the current study we use next-generation sequencing to investigate the DWV quasispecies in an apiary known to suffer from overwintering colony losses. We show that the DWV species complex is made up of three master variants. Our results indicate that a new DWV Type C variant is distinct from the previously described types A and B, but together they form a distinct clade compared with other members of the Iflaviridae. The molecular clock estimation predicts that Type C diverged from the other variants ~319 years ago. The discovery of a new master variant of DWV has important implications for the positive identification of the true pathogen within global honey bee populations.
    The ISME Journal 12/2015; DOI:10.1038/ismej.2015.178 · 9.30 Impact Factor
Show more