A review of regulation ecosystem services and disservices from faunal populations and potential impacts of agriculturalisation on their provision, globally

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Abstract

Land use and cover change (LUCC) is the main cause of natural ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss and can cause a decrease in ecosystem service provision. Animal populations are providers of some key regulation services: pollination, pest and disease control and seed dispersal, the so-called faunal ecosystem services (FES). Here we aim to give an overview on the current and future status of regulation FES in response to change from original habitat to agricultural land globally. FES are much more tightly linked to wildlife populations and biodiversity than are most ecosystem services, whose determinants are largely climatic and related to vegetation structure. Degradation of ecosystems by land use change thus has much more potential to affect FES. In this scoping review, we summarise the main findings showing the importance of animal populations as FES providers and as a source of ecosystem disservices; underlying causes of agriculturalisation impacts on FES and the potential condition of FES under future LUCC in relation to the expected
demand for FES globally. Overall, studies support a positive relationship between FES provision and animal species richness and abundance. Agriculturalisation has negative effects on FES providers due to landscape homogenisation, habitat fragmentation and loss, microclimatic changes and development of population imbalance, causing species and population losses of key fauna, reducing services whilst enhancing disservices. Since evidence suggests an increase in FES demand worldwide is required to support increased farming, it is imperative to improve the understanding of agriculturalisation on FES supply and distribution. Spatial conservation prioritisation must factor in faunal ecosystem functions as the most biodiversity-relevant of all ecosystem services and that which most closely links sites of service provision of conservation value with nearby sites of service use to provide ecosystem services of agricultural and economic value.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Conservation
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • crop raiding
  • disease control
  • providers
  • invasive species
  • pest control
  • pollination
  • seed dispersal

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