skip to main content

Title: Landscape diversity influences the arthropod species diversity in the rice field
Landscape diversity is one of the key drivers for maintaining ecosystem services in agricultural production by providing vital habitats and alternative food sources for beneficial insects and pollinators within the agricultural landscapes. The landscape structure, land uses, and diversity differ between geographic locations. However, how the changes of landscape structure and land use diversity affect the arthropod diversity in a geographic area is poorly understood. Here, we tested the impact of landscape diversity on the rice locations in Bangladesh. Results ranged from highly diversified to very highly diversified in Chattogram (>7.9), to highly diversified (0.590.79) in Satkhira and moderately (0.390.59) to less diversified (0.190.39) in Patuakhali. These significant different landscape diversities influenced the arthropod diversity in rice fields. Arthropod species diversity increases with the increase in the Land Use Mix (LUM) index. The maximum tillering stage of rice growth harbored higher abundance and species diversity in rice fields. Moreover, we found that vegetation is the most important factor influencing the abundance of arthropods. Extensive agriculture and forest contributed substantially to predicting arthropod richness. Meanwhile, barren land and high-density residential land as well as intensive agriculture had large impact on species diversity. This study indicates that landscape diversity plays a vital role in shaping the species diversity in rice fields, providing guidelines for the conservation of arthropod diversity, maximizing natural pest control ecosystem service and more secure crop production itself.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Environmental Science
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Agricultural landscapes are constantly changing as farmers adopt new production practices and respond to changing environmental conditions. Some of these changes alter landscape structure with impacts on natural pest control, pesticide use, and conservation of biodiversity. In rice agroecosystems the effect of landscape structure on natural enemies and pest suppression is often poorly understood. Here we investigate the effect of landscape composition and configuration on a key pest of rice, the brown planthopper ( Nilaparvata lugens ). Using N. lugens as sentinel prey coupled with predator exclusions, we investigated landscape effects on herbivore suppression and rice grain yield at multiple spatial scales in two regions of Bangladesh. Ladybird beetles and spiders were the most abundant natural enemies of N. lugens with landscape effects observed at all scales on ladybird beetles. Specifically, ladybird beetles were positively influenced by road edges, and fallow land, while spiders were strongly influenced only by rice phenology. Predator exclusion cages showed that N. lugens abundance significantly increased in caged plots, reducing rice gain yield. We also used an estimated biocontrol service index that showed a significant positive relationship with landscape diversity and a significant negative impact on pest density and yield loss. These results suggest that promoting fallow lands and fragmented patches between rice fields could lead to more sustainable insect pest management in rice agroecosystems, potentially reducing the practice of prophylactic insecticide use. 
    more » « less
  2. Background Landscape composition is known to affect both beneficial insect and pest communities on crop fields. Landscape composition therefore can impact ecosystem (dis)services provided by insects to crops. Though landscape effects on ecosystem service providers have been studied in large-scale agriculture in temperate regions, there is a lack of representation of tropical smallholder agriculture within this field of study, especially in sub-Sahara Africa. Legume crops can provide important food security and soil improvement benefits to vulnerable agriculturalists. However, legumes are dependent on pollinating insects, particularly bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes) for production and are vulnerable to pests. We selected 10 pigeon pea (Fabaceae: Cajunus cajan (L.)) fields in Malawi with varying proportions of semi-natural habitat and agricultural area within a 1 km radius to study: (1) how the proportion of semi-natural habitat and agricultural area affects the abundance and richness of bees and abundance of florivorous blister beetles (Coleoptera: Melloidae ), (2) if the proportion of flowers damaged and fruit set difference between open and bagged flowers are correlated with the proportion of semi-natural habitat or agricultural area and (3) if pigeon pea fruit set difference between open and bagged flowers in these landscapes was constrained by pest damage or improved by bee visitation. Methods We performed three, ten-minute, 15 m, transects per field to assess blister beetle abundance and bee abundance and richness. Bees were captured and identified to (morpho)species. We assessed the proportion of flowers damaged by beetles during the flowering period. We performed a pollinator and pest exclusion experiment on 15 plants per field to assess whether fruit set was pollinator limited or constrained by pests. Results In our study, bee abundance was higher in areas with proportionally more agricultural area surrounding the fields. This effect was mostly driven by an increase in honeybees. Bee richness and beetle abundances were not affected by landscape characteristics, nor was flower damage or fruit set difference between bagged and open flowers. We did not observe a positive effect of bee density or richness, nor a negative effect of florivory, on fruit set difference. Discussion In our study area, pigeon pea flowers relatively late—well into the dry season. This could explain why we observe higher densities of bees in areas dominated by agriculture rather than in areas with more semi-natural habitat where resources for bees during this time of the year are scarce. Therefore, late flowering legumes may be an important food resource for bees during a period of scarcity in the seasonal tropics. The differences in patterns between our study and those conducted in temperate regions highlight the need for landscape-scale studies in areas outside the temperate region. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    As demand for wood products increases in step with global population growth, balancing the potentially competing values of biodiversity conservation, carbon storage and timber production is a major challenge. Land sparing involves conserving forest while growing timber in intensively managed areas. On the other hand, land sharing utilizes ecological forestry approaches, but with a larger management footprint due to lower yields. While the sparing‐sharing framework has been widely tested and debated in agricultural settings to balance competing values, such land‐allocation strategies have been rarely studied in forestry.

    We examined whether a sparing, sharing or Triad strategy best achieves multiple forest objectives simultaneously. In Triad, management units (stands) in forest landscapes are allocated to one of three treatments: reserve (where conservation is the sole objective), intensive (timber production is the sole objective) and ecological (both objectives are combined). To our knowledge, ours is the first Triad study from the temperate zone to quantify direct measures of biodiversity (e.g. species' abundance).

    Using a commonly utilized forest planning tool parameterized with empirical data, we modelled the capacity of a temperate rainforest to provide multiple ecosystem services (biodiversity, carbon storage, timber production and old‐growth forest structure) over 125 years based on 43 different allocation scenarios. We then quantified trade‐offs between scenarios, taking into account the landscape structure, and determined which strategies most consistently balanced ecosystem services.

    Sparing strategies were best when the services provided by both old‐growth and early seral (young) forests were prioritized, but at a cost to species associated with mid‐seral stages, which benefitted most from Triad and sharing strategies. Therefore, sparing provides the greatest net benefit, particularly given that old‐growth‐associated species and ecosystem services are currently of the greatest conservation concern.

    Synthesis and applications. We found that maximizing multiple elements of biodiversity and ecosystem services simultaneously with a single management strategy was elusive. The strategy that maximized each service and species varied greatly by both the service and the level of timber production. Fortunately, a diversity of management options can produce the same wood supply, providing ample decision space for establishing priorities and evaluating trade‐offs.

    more » « less
  4. Human land use threatens global biodiversity and compromises multiple ecosystem functions critical to food production. Whether crop yield–related ecosystem services can be maintained by a few dominant species or rely on high richness remains unclear. Using a global database from 89 studies (with 1475 locations), we partition the relative importance of species richness, abundance, and dominance for pollination; biological pest control; and final yields in the context of ongoing land-use change. Pollinator and enemy richness directly supported ecosystem services in addition to and independent of abundance and dominance. Up to 50% of the negative effects of landscape simplification on ecosystem services was due to richness losses of service-providing organisms, with negative consequences for crop yields. Maintaining the biodiversity of ecosystem service providers is therefore vital to sustain the flow of key agroecosystem benefits to society. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Non‐crop habitats are essential for sustaining biodiversity of beneficial arthropods in agricultural landscapes, which can increase ecosystem services provision and crop yield. However, their effects on specific crop systems are less clear, such as soybean in South America, where the responses of pests and natural enemies to landscape structure have only recently been studied.

    Here, we analysed how native forest fragments at local and landscape scales influenced arthropod communities, herbivory and yield in soybean fields in central Argentina. To do this, we selected soybean fields located in agricultural landscapes with varying proportions of forest cover. At two distances (10 and 100 m) from a focal forest fragment, we sampled natural enemy and herbivore arthropods, and measured soybean herbivory and yield. We focused on herbivore diversity, abundance of key soybean pests in the region (caterpillars and stink bugs), and their generalist and specialist natural enemies.

    Higher abundance of predators, lower herbivory rates and increased yield were found near forests, while overall forest cover in the landscape was positively related with parasitoid and stink bug abundance, soybean yield, and negatively with herbivory. Moreover, yield was positively linked to richness and abundance of generalist and specialist enemies and independent of herbivory according to piecewise Structural Equation Models.

    Synthesis and applications. Our results show positive effects of native forests on biodiversity and yield in soybean crops, highlighting the need for conservation of forest fragments in agricultural landscapes. Moreover, the relation between natural enemies and crop yield suggests that Chaco forests support a diverse and abundant community of natural enemies that can provide sustained levels of ecosystem services and result in positive effects for farmers.

    more » « less