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Department Head: 

Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein
phone:+49 (0)761 203-67770



Mrs. Ilona Winkler
phone:+49 (0)761 203-3635
fax:+49 (0)761 203-3638


Chair of Nature Conservation
& Landscape Ecology
University of Freiburg
Tennenbacher Str. 4
D-79106 Freiburg




Pollination in Apple orchards

Managing ecosystem services for fruit production

in different European climates (EU-BiodivErsa - EcoFruit)


Part of the University of Freiburg:

Effectiveness of agri-environmental schemes on pollinator diversity and pollination services


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Lindenstraße - Postgasse 1.JPG


Prof. Dr. Alexandra-Maria Klein

Dr. Virginie Boreux

Dr.  Iris Kormann

Project partners:

University of Darmstadt, Germany (Prof. Dr. Nico Blüthgen, Dr. Karsten Mody, Anne-Katrin Happe)

University of Barcelona, Spain (Dr. Jordi Bosch, Anselm Rodrigo Domínguez)

University of Stockholm, Sweden (Prof. Dr. Peter Hambäck, Ulrika Samnegård)

University of Oviedo, Spain (Prof. Dr. Daniel García, Dr. Marcos Miñarro)


2015 -  2018


EU-BiodivErsa Projekt

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) (German part)


Animal communities provide important ecosystem services (ES). Nowhere is their service more important than 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. Different species provide benefits but others negative impacts on net fruit production. Therefore it is crucial to understand how biodiversity can be promoted to maximize fruit production while minimizing external agricultural inputs such as renting honeybees and the use of pesticides.

The overall goal of our project 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 across Europe.

Our study sites will comprise a climatic gradient from southern to northern Europe in Spain, Germany and Sweden. We will use apple as a target crop as it is the most frequently grown fruit in Europe. In the three countries organic and conventional orchards, managed with and without adjacent hedgerows and flower-providing habitats will be studied.

Field methods to be applied across all countries will include standardised sampling protocols developed by the applicants to measure flower visitation, crop damage by pests, parasitism and predation.

In a subset of countries, detailed experiments on the efficiency of service providers and more detailed, mechanistic analyses of their functional complementarity will be applied. This will include bagging experiments to study the effectiveness taxa in the provisioning of ES, and climatic niche modelling to estimate potential changes in species in response traits under climate change scenarios.

Main objectives of the project:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of AES implemented at two spatial scales (farm and adjacent farm scale) to increase biodiversity and ES in a landscape context as the successful implementation of AES depend on the landscape context for mobile services providers. 
  • Measure the functional importance of biodiversity in leaf- and fruit-attacking animals (pests), their natural enemies (insects and birds) as well as flower-visiting and pollinating insects. We aim to understand the complementary role of different species for multiple ES.
  • Establish a trait database for pests, natural enemies and pollinators. We will focus on important effect traits to assess the functional diversity related to fruit production, as well as response traits to better understand the response diversity and thus resilience in each functional group to potential climatic variation.
  • Identify the trade-offs between benefits and negative effects of different functional groups of animals.


Publications: Link


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