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Intersection between biodiversity conservation, agroecology, and ecosystem services

Intersection between biodiversity conservation, agroecology, and ecosystem services

Agroecological research has improved our understanding of the drivers and benefits of biodiversity, thus providing the scientific basis needed to achieve agricultural multifunctionality. We review how agroecology has contributed to our understanding of the effects of local and landscape level drivers on beneficial insects, as well as on the ecosystem services they provide. Several syntheses from agroecosystem research indicate that both populations and biodiversity of pollinator and natural enemies decline with increases in local agricultural intensification and that landscape composition and configuration may mediate these local scale effects. Changes in agricultural management may affect predation and pollination services by altering the resource base for natural enemies and pollinators, by altering their species pool, and by modifying their interactions. The effects of these drivers depend on taxonomical or functional groups and landscape context. Studies that directly measure the cascading effects of landscape drivers on pest control and pollination services and plant level benefits are sparse. We propose five research themes to improve our understanding of the interface of agroecology, conservation, and ecosystem service research.