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Landscape heterogeneity and farming practice alter the species composition and taxonomic breadth of pollinator communities

  • Georg Andersson
  • Klaus Birkhofer
  • Maj Rundlöf
  • Henrik Smith
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 540-546
Publication/Series: Basic and Applied Ecology
Volume: 14
Issue: 7
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Effects of landscape heterogeneity and farming practice on species composition are less well known than those on species richness, in spite of the fact that community composition can be at least as important for ecosystem services, such as pollination. Here, we assessed the effect of organic farming and landscape heterogeneity on pollinator communities, focusing on multivariate patterns in species composition and the taxonomic breadth of communities. By relating our results to patterns observed for species richness we show that: (1) species richness generally declines with decreasing landscape heterogeneity, but taxonomic breadth only declines with landscape heterogeneity on conventionally managed farms. We further highlight the importance to provide results of species composition analyses as (2) primarily hoverfly species benefited from organic farming, but three bee species from different families were favoured by conventionally managed farms and (3) two hoverfly species with aphidophagous larvae showed contrasting responses to landscape heterogeneity. These results advance the understanding of how landscape heterogeneity and farming practices alter insect communities and further suggest that diversity patterns need to be analysed beyond species richness to fully uncover consequences of agricultural intensification.


  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Pollinators
  • Landscape context
  • Landscape ecology
  • Agricultural
  • intensification
  • Agri-environment schemes


  • Effects of Farming Practice on Pollinators and Pollination across Space and Time
  • ISSN: 1618-0089