African Journal of Agricultural Research
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Article Number - 8FEC10F54474


Vol.10(31), pp. 3016-3028 , July 2015
DOI: 10.5897/AJAR2015.9966
ISSN: 1991-637X



Full Length Research Paper

The impact of animals on crop yields in Malawian rural villages



Jessica Weyell
  • Jessica Weyell
  • Centre for Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.
  • Google Scholar
Felix Eigenbrod
  • Felix Eigenbrod
  • Centre for Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.
  • Google Scholar
Malcolm Hudson
  • Malcolm Hudson
  • Centre for Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.
  • Google Scholar
Dalitso Kafumbata
  • Dalitso Kafumbata
  • Lead Southern and Eastern Africa, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Mathews Tsirizeni
  • Mathews Tsirizeni
  • Lead Southern and Eastern Africa, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Sosten Chiotha
  • Sosten Chiotha
  • Lead Southern and Eastern Africa, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Zomba, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Guy Poppy
  • Guy Poppy
  • Centre for Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.
  • Google Scholar
Simon Willcock
  • Simon Willcock
  • Centre for Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.
  • Google Scholar







 Received: 02 July 2015  Accepted: 21 July 2015  Published: 30 July 2015

Copyright © 2015 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


It is essential that the net effect of biodiversity on crop yields is determined; particularly in developing nations, where both increasing food security and reducing biodiversity losses are of high importance. This study modelled the abundance of pests, pollinators and pest-control animals and determined their impact on crop yield within agroecosystems in four rural villages in Malawi. Data on the habitat area, survivorship, fecundity, birthing month and effect on crop yield for 14 animal functional groups were collated through a focused meta-analysis. Using this data, models were created to determine the abundance of each functional group using land cover as the sole input variable; with Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) utilised to validate the model prediction. Bees, birds and insects always improved crop yield, whereas monkeys, rodents and large herbivores always result in losses. Three out of four villages experienced a net benefit to crop yield from the animal biodiversity present. We conclude that models derived from meta-analyses appear useful for broadly predicting the local-scale abundance of functional groups and their qualitative impact on crop yield. However, long-term field observations should be conducted to ensure that the PRA values in this study correlate with direct observation.

 

Key words: Africa, Malawi, Zomba, agriculture, pest, pest control, pollination, pollinator.

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APA Weyell, J., Eigenbrod, F., Hudson, M., Kafumbata, D., Tsirizeni, M., Chiotha, S., Poppy, P., & Willcock, S. (2015). The impact of animals on crop yields in Malawian rural villages. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 10(31), 3016-3028.
Chicago Jessica Weyell, Felix Eigenbrod, Malcolm Hudson, Dalitso Kafumbata, Mathews Tsirizeni, Sosten Chiotha, Guy Poppy and Simon Willcock. "The impact of animals on crop yields in Malawian rural villages." African Journal of Agricultural Research 10, no. 31 (2015): 3016-3028.
MLA Jessica Weyell, et al. "The impact of animals on crop yields in Malawian rural villages." African Journal of Agricultural Research 10.31 (2015): 3016-3028.
   
DOI 10.5897/AJAR2015.9966
URL http://academicjournals.org/journal/AJAR/article-abstract/8FEC10F54474

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