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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Management-dependent effects of pollinator functional diversity on apple pollination services: A response-effect trait approach

Roquer-Beni, Laura; Alins, Georgina; Arnan, Xavier; Boreux, Virginie; Garcia, Daniel; Hamback, Peter A.; Happe, Anne-Kathrin; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Minarro, Marcos; Mody, Karsten; Porcel, Mario; Rodrigo, Anselm; Samnegard, Ulrika; Tasin, Marco; Bosch, Jordi


Functional traits mediate the response of communities to disturbances (response traits) and their contribution to ecosystem functions (effect traits). To predict how anthropogenic disturbances influence ecosystem services requires a dual approach including both trait concepts. Here, we used a response-effect trait conceptual framework to understand how local and landscape features affect pollinator functional diversity and pollination services in apple orchards. We worked in 110 apple orchards across four European regions. Orchards differed in management practices. Low-intensity (LI) orchards were certified organic or followed close-to-organic practices. High-intensity (HI) orchards followed integrated pest management practices. Within each management type, orchards encompassed a range of local (flower diversity, agri-environmental structures) and landscape features (orchard and pollinator-friendly habitat cover). We measured pollinator visitation rates and calculated trait composition metrics based on 10 pollinator traits. We used initial fruit set as a measure of pollination service. Some pollinator traits (body size and hairiness) were negatively related to orchard cover and positively affected by pollinator-friendly habitat cover. Bee functional diversity was lower in HI orchards and decreased with increased landscape orchard cover. Pollination service was not associated with any particular trait but increased with pollinator trait diversity in LI orchards. As a result, LI orchards with high pollinator trait diversity reached levels of pollination service similar to those of HI orchards. Synthesis and applications. Pollinator functional diversity enables pollinator communities to respond to agricultural intensification and to increase pollination function. Our results show that efforts to promote biodiversity provide greater returns in low-intensity than in high-intensity orchards. The fact that low-intensity orchards with high pollinator functional diversity reach levels of pollination services similar to those of high-intensity orchards provides a compelling argument for the conversion of high-intensity into low-intensity farms.


agricultural intensification; agri-environmental structures; integrated pest management; organic management; response-effect trait framework; trait diversity; trait identity

Published in

Journal of Applied Ecology
2021, volume: 58, number: 12, pages: 2843-2853
Publisher: WILEY

Authors' information

Roquer-Beni, Laura
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Alins, Georgina
Arnan, Xavier
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Boreux, Virginie
University of Freiburg
Garcia, Daniel
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC)
Hamback, Peter A.
Stockholm University
Klein, Alexandra-Maria
University of Freiburg
Minarro, Marcos
Servicio Regional Investigacion Desarrollo Agroalimentario - SERIDA
Vilches, Mario Porcel (Vilches, Mario Porcel)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Porcel Vilchez, Mario
Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (CORPOICA)
Rodrigo, Anselm
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)
Samnegard, Ulrika
University of New England
Tasin, Marco
University of Padua
Tasin, Marco
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Bosch, Jordi
Centro de Investigacion Ecologica y Aplicaciones Forestales (CREAF)

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