Projected climate change threatens pollinators and crop production in Brazil

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Abstract

Animal pollination can impact food security since many crops depend on pollinators to produce fruits and seeds. However, the effects of projected climate change on crop pollinators and therefore on crop production are still unclear, especially for wild pollinators and aggregate community responses. Using species distributional modeling, we assessed the effects of climate change on the geographic distribution of 95 pollinator species of 13 Brazilian crops, and we estimated their relative impacts on crop production. We described these effects at the municipality level, and we assessed the crops that were grown, the gross production volume of these crops, the total crop production value, and the number of inhabitants. Overall, considering all crop species, we found that the projected climate change will reduce the probability of pollinator occurrence by almost 0.13 by 2050. Our models predict that almost 90% of the municipalities analyzed will face species loss. Decreases in the pollinator occurrence probability varied from 0.08 (persimmon) to 0.25 (tomato) and will potentially affect 9% (mandarin) to 100% (sunflower) of the municipalities that produce each crop. Municipalities in central and southern Brazil will potentially face relatively large impacts on crop production due to pollinator loss. In contrast, some municipalities in northern Brazil, particularly in the northwestern Amazon, could potentially benefit from climate change because pollinators of some crops may increase. The decline in the probability of pollinator occurrence is found in a large number of municipalities with the lowest GDP and will also likely affect some places where crop production is high (20% to 90% of the GDP) and where the number of inhabitants is also high (more than 6 million people). Our study highlights key municipalities where crops are economically important and where pollinators will potentially face the worst conditions due to climate change. However, pollinators may be able to find new suitable areas that have the potential to improve crop production. The results shown here could guide policy decisions for adapting to climate change and for preventing the loss of pollinator species and crop production.

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APA

Giannini, T. C., Costa, W. F., Cordeiro, G. D., Imperatriz-Fonseca, V. L., Saraiva, A. M., Biesmeijer, J., & Garibaldi, L. A. (2017). Projected climate change threatens pollinators and crop production in Brazil. PloS One, 12(8), e0182274. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182274

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