Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops. Proc R Soc Lon B Biol Sci

Agroecology, University of Göttingen, Waldweg 26, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Impact Factor: 5.05). 03/2007; 274(1608):303-13. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2006.3721
Source: PubMed


The extent of our reliance on animal pollination for world crop production for human food has not previously been evaluated and the previous estimates for countries or continents have seldom used primary data. In this review, we expand the previous estimates using novel primary data from 200 countries and found that fruit, vegetable or seed production from 87 of the leading global food crops is dependent upon animal pollination, while 28 crops do not rely upon animal pollination. However, global production volumes give a contrasting perspective, since 60% of global production comes from crops that do not depend on animal pollination, 35% from crops that depend on pollinators, and 5% are unevaluated. Using all crops traded on the world market and setting aside crops that are solely passively self-pollinated, wind-pollinated or parthenocarpic, we then evaluated the level of dependence on animal-mediated pollination for crops that are directly consumed by humans. We found that pollinators are essential for 13 crops, production is highly pollinator dependent for 30, moderately for 27, slightly for 21, unimportant for 7, and is of unknown significance for the remaining 9. We further evaluated whether local and landscape-wide management for natural pollination services could help to sustain crop diversity and production. Case studies for nine crops on four continents revealed that agricultural intensification jeopardizes wild bee communities and their stabilizing effect on pollination services at the landscape scale.

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    • "Some bees of the Apidae group, [honeybees (Apis spp.), bumblebees (Bombus spp.) and stingless bees (Meliponini )] are kept for their pollination services (Slaa et al. 2006; Aizen et al. 2008; Breeze et al. 2011) and for honey production (vanEngelsdorp and Meixner 2010; Halcroft et al. 2013). Bee pollination is responsible for 35 % of global crop production (Klein et al. 2007), with an economic value exceeding €150 billion (US $170 billion) (Gallai et al. 2009). This important ecosystem service may be under increasing pressure due to recent pollinator declines (Cane and Tepedino 2001; Aizen et al. 2008; Colla and Packer 2008; Potts et al. 2010). "
    Insectes Sociaux 11/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00040-015-0441-3 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    • "Increasing pollination capacity is another EbA strategy to buttress food production from adverse climate change impacts. Globally, 75% of all human-consumed crops require insect pollination (Klein et al. 2007) yet widespread declines in pollinator abundance, mostly due to habitat conversion, are compromising the quality and quantity of food production. "
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    DESCRIPTION: Chapter xx in Climate Change and Biodiversity, 2nd edition
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    • "Pollinators are a critical element in healthy ecosystems and key players in sustainable crop production (Ashman et al. 2004, Klein et al. 2007, Aizen et al. 2009). Native and managed bees are among the most important pollinators, but in recent years pollinator populations have plummeted. "
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    Journal of Economic Entomology 10/2015; DOI:10.1093/jee/tov301 · 1.51 Impact Factor
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