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Keywords:

  • arable agriculture;
  • bees;
  • ecosystem services;
  • functional diversity;
  • functional redundancy;
  • ground beetles;
  • natural pest control;
  • pollination

Summary

  1. Invertebrates supporting natural pest control and pollination ecosystem services are crucial to world-wide crop production. Understanding national patterns in the spatial structure of natural pest control and pollination can be used to promote effective crop management and contribute to long-term food security.
  2. We mapped the species richness and functional diversity of ground beetles and bees to provide surrogate measures of natural pest control and pollination for Great Britain. Functional diversity represents the value and range of morphological and behavioural traits that support ecosystem services. We modelled the rate at which functional diversity collapsed in response to species extinctions to provide an index of functional redundancy.
  3. Deficits in functional diversity for both pest control and pollination were found in areas of high arable crop production. Ground beetle functional redundancy was positively correlated with the landscape cover of semi-natural habitats where extinctions were ordered by body size and dispersal ability. For bees, functional redundancy showed a weak positive correlation with semi-natural habitat cover where species extinctions were ordered by feeding specialization.
  4. Synthesis and applications. Increasingly, evidence suggests that functionally diverse assemblages of ground beetles and bees may be a key element to strategies that aim to support pollination and natural pest control in crops. If deficits in both functional diversity and redundancy in areas of high crop production are to be reversed, then targeted implementation of agri-environment schemes that establish semi-natural habitat may provide a policy mechanism for supporting these ecosystem services.