Effectiveness of agri-environmental management on pollinators is moderated more by ecological contrast than by landscape structure or land-use intensity

Riho Marja, David Kleijn, Teja Tscharntke, Alexandra Maria Klein, Thomas Frank, Péter Batáry

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Agri-environment management (AEM) started in the 1980s in Europe to mitigate biodiversity decline, but the effectiveness of AEM has been questioned. We hypothesize that this is caused by a lack of a large enough ecological contrast between AEM and non-treated control sites. The effectiveness of AEM may be moderated by landscape structure and land-use intensity. Here, we examined the influence of local ecological contrast, landscape structure and regional land-use intensity on AEM effectiveness in a meta-analysis of 62 European pollinator studies. We found that ecological contrast was most important in determining the effectiveness of AEM, but landscape structure and regional land-use intensity played also a role. In conclusion, the most successful way to enhance AEM effectiveness for pollinators is to implement measures that result in a large ecological improvement at a local scale, which exhibit a strong contrast to conventional practices in simple landscapes of intensive land-use regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1500
Number of pages8
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Agri-environmental schemes
  • bees
  • biodiversity
  • butterflies
  • ecosystem services
  • flower strips
  • hoverflies
  • land-use intensity
  • meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this