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Ecological-economic modelling of interactions between wild and commercial bees and pesticide use

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  • de, Vries Frans
  • Ellis, Ciaran
  • Goulson, Dave
  • Hanley, Nicholas
  • Kleczkowski, Adam

Abstract

The decline in extent of wild pollinators in recent years has been partly associated with changing farm practices and in particular with increase of pesticide use. In this paper we combine ecological modelling with economic analysis of a single farm output under the assumption that both pollination and pest control are essential inputs. We show that the drive to increase farm output can lead to a local decline in the wild bee population. Commercial bees are often considered an alternative to wild pollinators, but we show that their introduction can lead to further decline and finally local extinction of wild bees. The transitions between different outcomes are characterised by threshold behaviour and are potentially difficult to predict and detect in advance. Small changes in economic (input prices) and ecological (wild bees carrying capacity and effect of pesticides on bees) can move the economic-ecological system beyond the extinction threshold. We also show that increasing the pesticide price or decreasing the commercial bee price might lead to reestablishment of wild bees following their local extinction. Thus, we demonstrate the importance of combining ecological modelling with economics to study the provision of ecosystem services and to inform sustainable management of ecosystem service providers.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/16507
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Stirling, Division of Economics in its series Stirling Economics Discussion Papers with number 2013-10.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2013-10

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Postal: Division of Economics, University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
Phone: +44 (0)1786 467473
Fax: +44 (0)1786 467469
Web page: http://www.econ.stir.ac.uk/
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Keywords: Ecology; Bioeconomic modelling; Food security; Pollination; Ecosystem services;

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  1. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  2. Kassar, Ilhem & Lasserre, Pierre, 2004. "Species preservation and biodiversity value: a real options approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 857-879, September.
  3. M. Scott Taylor, 2009. "Innis Lecture: Environmental crises: past, present, and future," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1240-1275, November.
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