Ensuring food production: native biodiversity provides pollination and biological control services
Land use intensification drives extinctions of species and alters the ways in which they interact with one another. This loss of biodiversity may result in reduced rates of ecosystem services such as pollination and biological control, with loss of functional group and response diversity having the greatest effects on function. Biodiversity also acts as insurance in changing conditions, so in addition to reduced mean rates of ecosystem services, stability of these services may also decline. Similarly, alterations to the dynamic structure of networks of interactions among species may affect their resilience to other environmental changes. Conservation of natural forests, as well as ‘softer’ agricultural/silvicultural systems can help to conserve regional biodiversity, which can enhance ecosystem functioning in adjacent managed habitats. Conservation of heterogeneous landscapes, including natural forests, will be necessary to maintain ecosystem services in the face of a suite of interacting global environmental changes.