Species diversity and food web structure jointly shape natural biological control in agricultural landscapes

Fan Yang, Bing Liu, Yulin Zhu, Kris A.G. Wyckhuys, Wopke van der Werf, Yanhui Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Land-use change and agricultural intensification concurrently impact natural enemy (e.g., parasitoid) communities and their associated ecosystem services (ESs), i.e., biological pest control. However, the extent to which (on-farm) parasitoid diversity and food webs mediate landscape-level influences on biological control remains poorly understood. Here, drawing upon a 3-year study of quantitative parasitoid-hyperparasitoid trophic networks from 25 different agro-landscapes, we assess the cascading effects of landscape composition, species diversity and trophic network structure on ecosystem functionality (i.e., parasitism, hyperparasitism). Path analysis further reveals cascaded effects leading to biological control of a resident crop pest, i.e., Aphis gossypii. Functionality is dictated by (hyper)parasitoid diversity, with its effects modulated by food web generality and vulnerability. Non-crop habitat cover directly benefits biological control, whereas secondary crop cover indirectly lowers hyperparasitism. Our work underscores a need to simultaneously account for on-farm biodiversity and trophic interactions when investigating ESs within dynamic agro-landscapes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number979
JournalCommunications Biology
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2021

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