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Journal Articles PLoS Computational Biology Year : 2021

More pests but less pesticide applications: Ambivalent effect of landscape complexity on conservation biological control

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Thomas Opitz
Olivier Bonnefon
Edith Gabriel
Julien Papaïx

Abstract

In agricultural landscapes, the amount and organization of crops and semi-natural habitats (SNH) have the potential to promote a bundle of ecosystem services due to their influence on ecological community at multiple spatio-temporal scales. SNH are relatively undisturbed and are often source of complementary resources and refuges, therefore supporting more diverse and abundant natural pest enemies. However, the nexus of SNH proportion and organization with pest suppression is not trivial. It is thus crucial to understand how the behavior of pest and natural enemy species, the underlying landscape structure, and their interaction, may influence conservation biological control (CBC). Here, we develop a generative stochastic landscape model to simulate realistic agricultural landscape compositions and configurations of fields and linear elements. Generated landscapes are used as spatial support over which we simulate a spatially explicit predator-prey dynamic model. We find that increased SNH presence boosts predator populations by sustaining high predator density that regulates and keeps pest density below the pesticide application threshold. However, predator presence over all the landscape helps to stabilize the pest population by keeping it under this threshold, which tends to increase pest density at the landscape scale. In addition, the joint effect of SNH presence and predator dispersal ability among hedge and field interface results in a stronger pest regulation, which also limits pest growth. Considering properties of both fields and linear elements, such as local structure and geometric features, provides deeper insights for pest regulation; for example, hedge presence at crop field boundaries clearly strengthens CBC. Our results highlight that the integration of species behaviors and traits with landscape structure at multiple scales is necessary to provide useful insights for CBC.

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Dates and versions

hal-03769155 , version 1 (05-09-2022)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Patrizia Zamberletti, Khadija Sabir, Thomas Opitz, Olivier Bonnefon, Edith Gabriel, et al.. More pests but less pesticide applications: Ambivalent effect of landscape complexity on conservation biological control. PLoS Computational Biology, 2021, 17 (11), pp.e1009559. ⟨10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009559⟩. ⟨hal-03769155⟩

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