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Improvement of ecosystem services Studies, methods & partnering

Improvement of pollination and pest control by insects

Insects provide important ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, particularly pollination of crops and pest control. Therefore, enhancement of agricultural landscapes for insects is of special importance to agriculture. In a long-term project, we develop concepts and scenarios for optimizing ecosystem services of insects at landscape level. We address questions such as: (i) how much insect-friendly area (e.g. flower strips, semi-natural grassland) is required for preserving insect populations and their ecosystem services, and (ii) how should such areas be distributed in agricultural landscapes both spatially and temporally in order to achieve optimal effects? To answer these questions, we develop spatial simulation models of selected insect species. Using these models, we analyse the effects of different land-use options and scenarios on insect populations and predict their ecosystem services. Further, we will pinpoint critical thresholds of area, connectivity and longevity of insect-friendly sites in the landscape and identify optimal trade-offs between efforts and ecosystem services.


Jan Thiele
Thünen-Institut für Biodiversität

Katrin Ronnenberg
Thünen-Institut für Biodiversität