Optimizing breeding strategies and crop management for enhancing legume ecosystem services in organic farming.
Legumes may facilitate the diversification on the agroecosystem both directly, e.g. via growing legumes in association with cereals, and indirectly by enhancing associated diversity of wild fauna. Organic farming systems attract more pollinators such as bees compared to conventional fields. Our goal is to gain understanding on the nested architecture of the legume crop-bee pollinator-farmer-breeder network by using as exemplar case a bi-crop system, faba bean-spelt. Intercropping management and open-pollination breeding scheme interactively increase number and seed weight suggesting that intercropping intensifies the positive effect of outcrossing breeding scheme (breeding in presence of pollinators) in yield. Moreover, our outcome prompted the development of cultivars, by evolutionary participatory breeding, for organic farming that incorporate traits providing suitable floral resources. Thus, creating opportunities for a synergy between production and pollination ecosystem services.