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Managing the landscape across the Atlantic Forest to guarantee pollination service and bee conservation

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Adrian David Gonzalez Chaves
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Biociências (IBIOC/SB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Jean Paul Walter Metzger; Letícia Couto Garcia; Victor Arroyo Rodriguez; Isabela Galarda Varassin
Advisor: Jean Paul Walter Metzger; Luisa Mafalda Gigante Rodrigues Carvalheiro

Agriculture is the most dominant land use system across the globe, which continues to put pressure on native ecosystems. Understanding where biodiversity conservation contributes to agricultural production is crucial to engage farmers in conservation initiatives and to define areas which would benefit from ecosystem restoration. Field experiments across the globe suggest that maintaining natural habitats in the agricultural landscapes enhances crop yields through services like pollination and pest control. We aim to understand whether the spatial relationship is maintained across large regions and assessed the temporal variations of the importance of landscape features at influencing agricultural productivity. Using available data set on crop productivity from governmental organizations and non-governmental initiatives we gathered data on crop locations and the Atlantic Forest remains and demonstrated that the presence of tropical forest is positively associated agricultural yields across a climatic and soil characteristic gradient. We further showed that forest cover was more relevant at predicting coffee yields than agricultural management practices, like irrigation, pesticide use, organic manure among others. Moreover, the effects of forest cover are higher for municipalities producing coffee species which are highly dependent of animal pollination. On the second chapter we assessed the importance of forest fragments age at predicting coffee yields, and corroborate the importance of conserving mature forest fragments, as young regenerating fragments can only enhance coffee yields when municipalities are above the biodiversity extinction threshold. Finally, we the role of forest conservation on temporal stability of agricultural productivity by analyzing the 16 main crops produced in the whole Atlantic Forest. We not only found that the presence of forest fragments in the municipalities is crucial for crop productivity to be more stable across time, but also that a higher interspersion is most favorable for crop that fully dependent on pollinators for production. Probably such landscape features favor biodiversity spillover from forest fragments towards cropland guarantee the yield enhancement. This work provides regional evidence of the role of landscape features to plan agricultural production and complement biodiversity conservation planning. We further reinforce the role of forest conservation for achieving ecological intensification of agriculture that are so much needed to halt the detrimental effects that agriculture have had on biodiversity. We have shown that synergies between conservation and agriculture exist and have been crucial for one of the largest crops producing regions of the world. We believe our work can help in the development of agricultural and environmental policies, to define economical goals through the enhancement of biodiversity. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/19411-1 - Bee conservation and pollination service provision: using a landscape approach to reach a common goal
Grantee:Adrian David González Chaves
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate