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Combined effects of agrochemicals and ecosystem services on crop yield across Europe

Gagic, Vesna; Kleijn, David; Báldi, András; Boros, Gergely; Jørgensen, Helene Bracht LU ; Elek, Zoltán; Garratt, Michael P. D.; de Groot, G. Arjen; Hedlund, Katarina LU and Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó, et al. (2017) In Ecology Letters 20(11). p.1427-1436
Abstract

Simultaneously enhancing ecosystem services provided by biodiversity below and above ground is recommended to reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers in agriculture. However, consequences for crop yield have been poorly evaluated. Above ground, increased landscape complexity is assumed to enhance biological pest control, whereas below ground, soil organic carbon is a proxy for several yield-supporting services. In a field experiment replicated in 114 fields across Europe, we found that fertilisation had the strongest positive effect on yield, but hindered simultaneous harnessing of below- and above-ground ecosystem services. We furthermore show that enhancing natural enemies and pest control through increasing... (More)

Simultaneously enhancing ecosystem services provided by biodiversity below and above ground is recommended to reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers in agriculture. However, consequences for crop yield have been poorly evaluated. Above ground, increased landscape complexity is assumed to enhance biological pest control, whereas below ground, soil organic carbon is a proxy for several yield-supporting services. In a field experiment replicated in 114 fields across Europe, we found that fertilisation had the strongest positive effect on yield, but hindered simultaneous harnessing of below- and above-ground ecosystem services. We furthermore show that enhancing natural enemies and pest control through increasing landscape complexity can prove disappointing in fields with low soil services or in intensively cropped regions. Thus, understanding ecological interdependences between land use, ecosystem services and yield is necessary to promote more environmentally friendly farming by identifying situations where ecosystem services are maximised and agrochemical inputs can be reduced.

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publication status
published
subject
keywords
Agricultural intensification, biological pest control, ecological intensification, fertilisers, insecticides, landscape complexity, soil organic carbon, yield loss
in
Ecology Letters
volume
20
issue
11
pages
10 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85031500430
  • wos:000413145900008
ISSN
1461-023X
DOI
10.1111/ele.12850
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
36db9165-0c65-4593-9a59-2d898df8a0e7
date added to LUP
2017-10-26 08:15:05
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:02:16
@article{36db9165-0c65-4593-9a59-2d898df8a0e7,
  abstract     = {<p>Simultaneously enhancing ecosystem services provided by biodiversity below and above ground is recommended to reduce dependence on chemical pesticides and mineral fertilisers in agriculture. However, consequences for crop yield have been poorly evaluated. Above ground, increased landscape complexity is assumed to enhance biological pest control, whereas below ground, soil organic carbon is a proxy for several yield-supporting services. In a field experiment replicated in 114 fields across Europe, we found that fertilisation had the strongest positive effect on yield, but hindered simultaneous harnessing of below- and above-ground ecosystem services. We furthermore show that enhancing natural enemies and pest control through increasing landscape complexity can prove disappointing in fields with low soil services or in intensively cropped regions. Thus, understanding ecological interdependences between land use, ecosystem services and yield is necessary to promote more environmentally friendly farming by identifying situations where ecosystem services are maximised and agrochemical inputs can be reduced.</p>},
  author       = {Gagic, Vesna and Kleijn, David and Báldi, András and Boros, Gergely and Jørgensen, Helene Bracht and Elek, Zoltán and Garratt, Michael P. D. and de Groot, G. Arjen and Hedlund, Katarina and Kovács-Hostyánszki, Anikó and Marini, Lorenzo and Martin, Emily A. and Pevere, Ines and Potts, Simon G. and Redlich, Sarah and Senapathi, Deepa and Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf and Świtek, Stanislaw and Smith, Henrik G. and Takács, Viktória and Tryjanowski, Piotr and van der Putten, Wim H. and van Gils, Stijn and Bommarco, Riccardo},
  issn         = {1461-023X},
  keyword      = {Agricultural intensification,biological pest control,ecological intensification,fertilisers,insecticides,landscape complexity,soil organic carbon,yield loss},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1427--1436},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecology Letters},
  title        = {Combined effects of agrochemicals and ecosystem services on crop yield across Europe},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.12850},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2017},
}