New study reveals biodiversity benefits crop production

Over the past two decades, approximately 20 percent of the Earth’s cultivated surfaces have become less productive. According to the latest report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), land use-changes and management practices are in part impacting this decline. Now, a study by an international research team of more than one hundred researchers coordinated by the University of Würzburg and Eurac Research, reveals that agricultural fields with greater biodiversity are better protected from harmful insects, promote pollination and produce higher yields.

Ecologists and biologists compared data of about 1,500 agricultural fields around the world: from corn fields in the American plains to oilseed rape fields in southern Sweden, coffee plantations in India, mango…