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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Quantifying potential trade-offs and win-wins between arthropod diversity and yield on cropland under agri-environment schemes-A meta-analysis

Marja, Riho; Albrecht, Matthias; Herzog, Felix; Ockinger, Erik; Segre, Hila; Kleijn, David; Batary, Peter


In Europe, agri-environment schemes (AES) are a key instrument to combat the ongoing decline of farmland biodiversity. AES aim is to support biodiversity and maintain ecosystem services, such as pollination or pest control. To what extent AES affect crop yield is still poorly understood. We performed a systematic review, including hierarchical meta -analyses, to investigate potential trade-offs and win -wins between the effectiveness of AES for arthropod diversity and agricultural yield on European croplands. Altogether, we found 26 studies with a total of 125 data points that fulfilled our study inclusion criteria. From each study, we extracted data on biodiversity (arthropod species richness and abundance) and yield for fields with AES management and control fields without AES. The majority of the studies reported significantly higher species richness and abundance of arthropods (especially wild pollinators) in fields with AES (31 % increase), but yields were at the same time significantly lower on fields with AES compared to control fields (21 % decrease). Aside from the opportunity costs, AES that promote out -of -production elements (e.g. wildflower strips), supported biodiversity (29-32 % increase) without significantly compromising yield (2-5 % increase). Farmers can get an even higher yield in these situations than in current conventional agricultural production systems without AES. Thus, our study is useful to identify AES demonstrating benefits for arthropod biodiversity with negligible or relatively low costs regarding yield losses. Further optimization of the design and management of AES is needed to improve their effectiveness in promoting both biodiversity and minimizing crop yield losses.


Biodiversity; Ecosystem services; Farmland; Landscape structure; Pollination; Pest control

Published in

Journal of Environmental Management
2024, Volume: 353, article number: 120277

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    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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