More diverse biological communities may provide ecosystem services that are less variable over space or time. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship are rarely investigated empirically in real-world ecosystems. Here, we investigate how a potentially important stabilising mechanism, response diversity, the differential response to environmental change among species, stabilises pollination services against land-use change. We measured crop pollination services provided by native bees across land-use gradients in three crop systems. We found that bee species responded differentially to increasing agricultural land cover in all three systems, demonstrating that response diversity occurs. Similarly, we found response diversity in pollination services in two of the systems. However, there was no evidence that response diversity, in general, stabilised ecosystem services. Our results suggest that either response diversity is not the primary stabilising mechanism in our system, or that new measures of response diversity are needed that better capture the stabilising effects it provides.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Crop pollination
- Ecosystem function
- Land-use change
- Stabilising mechanisms