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Keywords:

  • Agri-environment schemes;
  • biological control;
  • dispersal;
  • ecosystem functioning;
  • land-use systems;
  • pollination;
  • resilience;
  • spatial scale;
  • sustainability;
  • trophic interactions

Abstract

Understanding the negative and positive effects of agricultural land use for the conservation of biodiversity, and its relation to ecosystem services, needs a landscape perspective. Agriculture can contribute to the conservation of high-diversity systems, which may provide important ecosystem services such as pollination and biological control via complementarity and sampling effects. Land-use management is often focused on few species and local processes, but in dynamic, agricultural landscapes, only a diversity of insurance species may guarantee resilience (the capacity to reorganize after disturbance). Interacting species experience their surrounding landscape at different spatial scales, which influences trophic interactions. Structurally complex landscapes enhance local diversity in agroecosystems, which may compensate for local high-intensity management. Organisms with high-dispersal abilities appear to drive these biodiversity patterns and ecosystem services, because of their recolonization ability and larger resources experienced. Agri-environment schemes (incentives for farmers to benefit the environment) need to broaden their perspective and to take the different responses to schemes in simple (high impact) and complex (low impact) agricultural landscapes into account. In simple landscapes, local allocation of habitat is more important than in complex landscapes, which are in total at risk. However, little knowledge of the relative importance of local and landscape management for biodiversity and its relation to ecosystem services make reliable recommendations difficult.