The interplay of landscape composition and configuration: new pathways to manage functional biodiversity and agroecosystem services across Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Managing agricultural landscapes to support biodiversity and ecosystem services is a key aim of a sustainable agriculture. However, how the spatial arrangement of crop fields and other habitats in landscapes impacts arthropods and their functions is poorly known. Synthesising data from 49 studies (1515 landscapes) across Europe, we examined effects of landscape composition (% habitats) and configuration (edge density) on arthropods in fields and their margins, pest control, pollination and yields. Configuration effects interacted with the proportions of crop and non-crop habitats, and species’ dietary, dispersal and overwintering traits led to contrasting responses to landscape variables. Overall, however, in landscapes with high edge density, 70% of pollinator and 44% of natural enemy species reached highest abundances and pollination and pest control improved 1.7- and 1.4-fold respectively. Arable-dominated landscapes with high edge densities achieved high yields. This suggests that enhancing edge density in European agroecosystems can promote functional biodiversity and yield-enhancing ecosystem services. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS


External organisations
  • Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology


  • Agroecology, arthropod community, biological control, edge density, pest control, pollination, response trait, semi-natural habitat, trait syndrome, yield
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1094
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number7
Early online date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Export Date: 10 May 2019