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Economic Dependence and Vulnerability of United States Agricultural Sector on Insect-Mediated Pollination Service

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posted on 26.01.2021, 17:31 by Alex Jordan, Harland M. Patch, Christina M. Grozinger, Vikas Khanna
Deficits in insect-mediated pollination service undermine ecosystem biodiversity and function, human nutrition, and economic welfare. Global pollinator supply continues to decline, while production of pollination-dependent crops increases. Using publicly available price and production data and existing pollination field studies, we quantify economic dependence of United States crops on insect-mediated pollination service at the county level and update existing coefficients of insect dependence of sample crops when possible. Economic value dependent on pollination service totals 34.0 billion USD in 2012. Twenty percent of US counties produce 80% of total economic value attributable to insect pollinators. We compile county-level data and consider the spatial relationship between economic value dependent on insect-mediated pollination, region-specific forage suitability, and crop-specific agricultural areas within US landscapes. We identify vulnerable, highly dependent areas where habitat for wild pollinators has been reduced. These results can help inform future efforts to conserve and bolster managed and wild pollinator populations to ensure sustainable production of key agricultural crops.

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