Animal communities provide important ecosystem services (ES). They are extremely important in fruit production, where certain species are required for pollination, and others function as biocontrol agents against various pest species attacking flowers, leaves or fruits. Some species provide benefits, others negative impacts on net fruit production. It is crucial to understand how to promote biodiversity to maximise fruit production while minimising external agricultural inputs such as renting honeybees and the use of pesticides.
The overall goal of EcoFruit is to understand how European agri-environmental schemes (AES, organic farming, flowering strips and hedgerows) affect biodiversity and related ES and how this relates to net fruit production in different climates.
The objectives of EcoFruit are to:
EcoFruit displays management options to promote agro-biodiversity and related ecosystem services in European fruit production. Some organic orchards showed high diversity of beneficial insects and production outcomes as high as the mean integrated pest (IP) orchards. High biodiversity in low-intensity orchards have the advantage to buffer negative effects of environmental changes. Some research statements:
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.