Effects of ozone air pollution on crop pollinators and pollination

Orianne Rollin*, Jesús Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Izak A.R. Yasrebi-de Kom, Michael P.D. Garratt, G.A. de Groot, David Kleijn, Simon G. Potts, Jeroen Scheper, Luísa G. Carvalheiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Human driven environmental changes increase the concentrations of polluting reactive compounds in the troposphere, such as ozone and nitrogen oxides. These changes lead to biodiversity losses and alter plant physiology and plant-pollinator interactions, essential for pollination services, with potential consequences for agricultural production. Here we used 133 unique sampling events from NW Europe to investigate how air pollution (ozone and nitrogen oxides) and other sources of nitrogen is related to pollinator visitation rate and their contribution to agricultural production, also considering possible interactive effects with landscape quality and pesticide input. We showed that ozone modulates the effect of pesticide exposure and temperature on crop pollinators, increasing the probability of negative impacts on crop pollination. Indeed, when ozone levels are highest, the strength of the effect of pesticide on pollinators is more than double then when ozone levels are intermediate. This indicates that air pollution should be considered in management plans and policies aiming to safeguard biodiversity and promote more sustainable food production practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102529
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Air pollution
  • Bees
  • Hoverflies
  • Landscape change
  • Nitrogen
  • Ozone
  • Pesticide risk exposure
  • Pollination


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