Article

Economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline

INRA, UMR LAMETA, 2 place Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France
Ecological Economics (Impact Factor: 2.52). 02/2009; 68(3):810-821. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2008.06.014
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT 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.

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    • "At the same time, managed honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations are declining due to a complex of factors including novel diseases, pesticides and habitat change (Ellis et al., 2010; Potts et al., 2010; Smith et al., 2013). Pollinator deficiencies may precipitate significant yield reductions and increased food prices, ultimately jeopardizing food security (Meffe, 1998; Kevan and Phillips, 2001; Steffan-Dewenter et al., 2005; Klein et al., 2007; Gallai et al., 2009). Unmanaged bees (hereafter " wild bees " ) are highly effective pollinators of a variety of crops and act as insurance against loss of pollination function due to honey bee deficits (Winfree et al., 2007; Garibaldi et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Diversification of field edges is widely used as a strategy to augment pollinator populations and, in turn, supplement crop pollination needs. Hedgerow plantings, a commonly applied field-scale diversification technique, have been shown to increase wild bee richness within edges and into crop fields; however, their effects on pollination services in mass-flowering, pollinator-dependent crops typical of large-scale commercial monocultures are less well-known. We evaluated the indirect contribution of hedgerows to sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seed set vis-á-vis wild bee abundance and the interaction between wild bees and managed honey bee pollinators. Although wild bee species richness and the interaction between wild and managed pollinators were significantly associated with augmented seed set, these factors were unrelated to whether a hedgerow was present. The pollinator species foraging within crop fields differed significantly from those found within adjacent hedgerows and bare or weedy field edges, with hedgerows supporting higher species richness than crop fields or unenhanced edges. However, in an independent data set, greater numbers of sunflower-pollinating bees were found in hedgerows than in control edges. Hedgerows may therefore help these crop-pollinating species persist in the landscape. Our findings suggest that hedgerows may not always simultaneously achieve crop pollination and wild bee conservation goals; instead, the benefits of hedgerows may be crop- and region-specific. We recommend evaluation of hedgerow benefits in a variety of crop and landscape contexts to improve their ability to meet ecosystem-service provisioning needs.
    Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 09/2015; 207. DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2015.03.020 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    • "Costanza et al. (1997) estimated the value of all pollination ecosystem services to be $117 billion USD per year, while Richards (1993) estimated that the value of pollination in global agriculture alone amounts to $200 billion USD per year. Gallai et al. (2009) estimated the economic value of the pollination services to agriculture worldwide to be 153 billion euro. Th e majority of insect pollination was done by the managed Western honey bees ( Apis mellifera Linnaeus). "
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    • "Costanza et al. (1997) estimated the value of all pollination ecosystem services to be $117 billion USD per year, while Richards (1993) estimated that the value of pollination in global agriculture alone amounts to $200 billion USD per year. Gallai et al. (2009) estimated the economic value of the pollination services to agriculture worldwide to be 153 billion euro. Th e majority of insect pollination was done by the managed Western honey bees ( Apis mellifera Linnaeus). "
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