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Diversity or dominance in food production? The case of pollinators

Diversity or dominance in food production? The case of pollinators

"Paradoxically, conventional agriculture is destroying the diversity of pollinators, but this diversity is essential to increase the productivity (and its stability in time and space) of many crops."

Biodiversity is being destroyed at an alarming rate. One of the main causes of this loss is the change in land use, which is based on conventional agriculture and livestock. Management practices such as monoculture and the intensive use of agrochemicals reduce the number of species of plants, birds, insects and other taxonomic groups, while increasing the relative abundance (dominance) of few cultivated and wild species (eg, weeds ).

Given that almost 40% of the earth's surface is used for the production of crops and meat, it is essential to achieve agricultural production compatible with the preservation of biodiversity.

In addition to its value for ethical, spiritual and use aspects for future generations, in this article we highlight the role of biodiversity in agricultural production, and use pollinators as an example.

Paradoxically, conventional agriculture is destroying the diversity of pollinators, but this diversity is essential to increase the productivity (and its stability in time and space) of many crops.

Several studies show that the loss of pollinator diversity cannot be compensated for by a high abundance of a single pollinator species (dominance). That is why we debate actions that producers, consumers, politicians and scientists can take to recover part of this biodiversity.

For example, growers can implement practices inside and outside the crop to increase floral and nesting resources to pollinators and thus promote their abundance and diversity. In addition, consumers can modify their diet, reduce waste and produce food on a small scale, among other actions.

As a consequence, it is imperative to take multiple actions by all the actors, since a single strategy will not be enough to solve the dilemma of producing and conserving biodiversity.

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