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Pesticides and Bees:Ecological-Economic Modelling of Bee Populations on Farmland

Author

Listed:
  • Ciaran Ellis

    (University of Stirling)

  • Nick Hanley

    () (Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews)

  • Adam Kleczkowski

    (University of Stirling)

  • David Goulson

    (University of Sussex)

Abstract

Production of insect-pollinated crops typically relies on both pesticide use and pollination, leading to a potential conflict between these two inputs. In this paper we combine ecological modelling with economic analysis to investigate the effects of pesticide use on wild and commercial bees, whilst allowing farmers to partly offset the negative effects of pesticides on bee populations by creating more on-farm bee habitat. Farmers have incentives to invest in creating wild bee habitat to increase pollination inputs. However, the optimal allocation of on-farm habitat strongly depends on the negative effects of pesticides, with a threshold-like behaviour at a critical level of the impairment. When this threshold is crossed, the population of wild bees becomes locally extinct and their availability to pollinate breaks down. We also show that availability of commercial bees masks the decrease in pollination services which would otherwise incentivise farmers to conserve the wild pollinator population, therefore indirectly leading to local wild bee extinction. The paper demonstrat es the importance of combining ecological modelling with economics to study sustainability in the provision of ecosystem services in agro-ecosystems.

Suggested Citation

  • Ciaran Ellis & Nick Hanley & Adam Kleczkowski & David Goulson, 2016. "Pesticides and Bees:Ecological-Economic Modelling of Bee Populations on Farmland," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2016-04, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:sss:wpaper:2016-04
    as

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    File URL: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/media/dept-of-geography-and-sustainable-development/pdf-s/DP%202016-04%20Ellis%20et%20al.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fisher, Anthony C & Krutilla, John V & Cicchetti, Charles J, 1974. "The Economics of Environmental Preservation: Further Discussion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 1030-1039, December.
    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. repec:eee:ecoser:v:14:y:2015:i:c:p:124-132 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kenneth J. Arrow & Anthony C. Fisher, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-319.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:rensus:v:110:y:2019:i:c:p:368-377 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:157:y:2019:i:c:p:278-290 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:kap:enreec:v:73:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10640-018-0277-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    pollination; pesticides; wild bees; commercial bees; ecological-economic modelling;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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