Effects of farming intensity, crop rotation and landscape heterogeneity on field bean pollination

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Organic farming has the potential to enhance ecosystem services such as crop pollination. However, it is not known if a similar effect can be generated on conventional farms, without reducing external inputs such as inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, by using more complex crop rotations including ley for animal fodder production. In two separate designs, both located in southern Sweden, we tested if local organic farming and the landscape proportion of conventionally managed leys, along a landscape heterogeneity gradient, affected the pollination success of field bean. The number of developed pods was higher on organic farms compared to conventional ones. Development of beans, which demands high pollination efficiency, increased with increasing landscape heterogeneity, but only on organic farms. Increasing proportion of ley on conventional farms did not significantly influence the development of beans. The number of developed pods was not affected by the proportion of ley in the landscape. Our results demonstrate that in order to maximize pollination success it is important to improve both field management and preserve semi-natural habitats in the agricultural landscape. Reducing farming intensity with conventionally managed leys does not seem to be as effective as organic farming for delivering crop pollination services. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-148
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems & Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
  • Ecology


  • Organic farming
  • Ley
  • Pollinators
  • Farming practice
  • Agri-environment
  • schemes
  • Ecosystem services


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