Functional redundancy of weed seed predation is reduced by intensified agriculture

Eirini Daouti*, Veronika Neidel, Benjamin Carbonne, Hana Vašková, Michael Traugott, Corinna Wallinger, Riccardo Bommarco, Benjamin Feit, David A. Bohan, Pavel Saska, Jiří Skuhrovec, Sasha Vasconcelos, Sandrine Petit, Wopke van der Werf, Mattias Jonsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Intensified agriculture, a driver of biodiversity loss, can diminish ecosystem functions and their stability. Biodiversity can increase functional redundancy and is expected to stabilize ecosystem functions. Few studies, however, have explored how agricultural intensity affects functional redundancy and its link with ecosystem function stability. Here, within a continental-wide study, we assess how functional redundancy of seed predation is affected by agricultural intensity and landscape simplification. By combining carabid abundances with molecular gut content data, functional redundancy of seed predation was quantified for 65 weed genera across 60 fields in four European countries. Across weed genera, functional redundancy was reduced with high field management intensity and simplified crop rotations. Moreover, functional redundancy increased the spatial stability of weed seed predation at the field scale. We found that ecosystem functions are vulnerable to disturbances in intensively managed agroecosystems, providing empirical evidence of the importance of biodiversity for stable ecosystem functions across space.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14411
Number of pages12
JournalEcology Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • arable plants
  • carabids
  • ecosystem services
  • hierarchical modelling of species communities


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