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Agricultural landscape simplification reduces natural pest control: A quantitative synthesis

Rusch, Adrien and Winqvist, Camilla and Bommarco, Riccardo (2016). Agricultural landscape simplification reduces natural pest control: A quantitative synthesis. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment. 221 , 198-204
[Research article]

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Numerous studies show that landscape simplification reduces abundance and diversity of natural enemies in agroecosystems, but its effect on natural pest control remains poorly quantified. Further, natural enemy impacts on pest populations have usually been estimated for a limited number of taxa and have not considered interactions among predator species. In a quantitative synthesis with data collected from several cropping systems in Europe and North America, we analyzed how the level and within-field spatial stability of natural pest control services was related to the simplification of the surrounding landscape. All studies used aphids as a model species and exclusion cages to measure aphid pest control. Landscape simplification was quantified by the proportion of cultivated land within a 1 km radius around each plot. We found a consistent negative effect of landscape simplification on the level of natural pest control, despite interactions among enemies. Average level of pest control was 46% lower in homogeneous landscapes dominated by cultivated land, as compared with more complex landscapes. Landscape simplification did not affect the amount of positive or negative interactions among ground dwelling and vegetation-dwelling predators, or the within-field stability of pest control. Our synthesis demonstrates that agricultural intensification through landscape simplification has negative effects on the level of natural pest control with important implications for management to maintain and enhance ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. Specifically, preserving and restoring semi-natural habitats emerges as a fundamental first step to maintain and enhance pest control services provided by predatory arthropods to agriculture. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Authors/Creators:Rusch, Adrien and Winqvist, Camilla and Bommarco, Riccardo
Title:Agricultural landscape simplification reduces natural pest control: A quantitative synthesis
Series Name/Journal:Agriculture, ecosystems & environment
Year of publishing :2016
Depositing date:22 August 2016
Page range:198-204
Number of Pages:7
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:H Protection of plants and stored products > H10 Pests of plants
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Agrovoc terms:plant protection, biological control, landscape conservation
Keywords:Crop protection, Biological control, Arthropods intraguild predation, Ecosystem services, Landscape management, Spatial stability
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000373649100021
ID Code:13555
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:22 Aug 2016 14:25
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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