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      Spatial and Temporal Trends of Global Pollination Benefit

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          Abstract

          Pollination is a well-studied and at the same time a threatened ecosystem service. A significant part of global crop production depends on or profits from pollination by animals. Using detailed information on global crop yields of 60 pollination dependent or profiting crops, we provide a map of global pollination benefits on a 5′ by 5′ latitude-longitude grid. The current spatial pattern of pollination benefits is only partly correlated with climate variables and the distribution of cropland. The resulting map of pollination benefits identifies hot spots of pollination benefits at sufficient detail to guide political decisions on where to protect pollination services by investing in structural diversity of land use. Additionally, we investigated the vulnerability of the national economies with respect to potential decline of pollination services as the portion of the (agricultural) economy depending on pollination benefits. While the general dependency of the agricultural economy on pollination seems to be stable from 1993 until 2009, we see increases in producer prices for pollination dependent crops, which we interpret as an early warning signal for a conflict between pollination service and other land uses at the global scale. Our spatially explicit analysis of global pollination benefit points to hot spots for the generation of pollination benefits and can serve as a base for further planning of land use, protection sites and agricultural policies for maintaining pollination services.

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          Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas

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            The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital

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              Importance of pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops.

              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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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1932-6203
                2012
                26 April 2012
                : 7
                : 4
                : e35954
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Computational Landscape Ecology, UFZ - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
                [2 ]Department of Urban Planning and Real Estate Management, Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation- IGG, University Bonn, Bonn, Germany
                [3 ]Department for Geography, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany
                [4 ]Biometry & Environmental System Analysis, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
                University of Northampton, United Kingdom
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: SL CFD RS. Analyzed the data: SL JL CFD. Wrote the paper: SL RS JL CFD.

                Article
                PONE-D-11-17204
                10.1371/journal.pone.0035954
                3338563
                22563427
                9123fcc1-2fed-4038-a759-f98a0c6fabc4
                Lautenbach et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                History
                : 2 September 2011
                : 26 March 2012
                Page count
                Pages: 16
                Categories
                Research Article
                Agriculture
                Agroecology
                Ecological Political Economy
                Crops
                Biology
                Ecology
                Agroecology
                Ecological Political Economy
                Ecological Economics
                Spatial and Landscape Ecology
                Earth Sciences
                Environmental Sciences
                Environmental Economics
                Social and Behavioral Sciences
                Economics
                Geography
                Political Science
                Political Geography

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                Uncategorized

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