Plant composition modulates arthropod pest and predator abundance: Evidence for culling exotics and planting natives

Parry, Hazel R., Macfadyen, Sarina, Hopkinson, Jamie E., Bianchi, Felix J. J. A., Zalucki, Myron P., Bourne, Anne and Schellhorn, Nancy A. (2015) Plant composition modulates arthropod pest and predator abundance: Evidence for culling exotics and planting natives. Basic and Applied Ecology, 16 6: 531-543. doi:10.1016/j.baae.2015.05.005


Author Parry, Hazel R.
Macfadyen, Sarina
Hopkinson, Jamie E.
Bianchi, Felix J. J. A.
Zalucki, Myron P.
Bourne, Anne
Schellhorn, Nancy A.
Title Plant composition modulates arthropod pest and predator abundance: Evidence for culling exotics and planting natives
Journal name Basic and Applied Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1439-1791
1618-0089
Publication date 2015-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.baae.2015.05.005
Volume 16
Issue 6
Start page 531
End page 543
Total pages 13
Place of publication Muenchen, Germany
Publisher Elsevier GmbH
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We investigate the role of plant species in crops, pasture and native vegetation remnants in supporting agronomic pests and their predators. The study was conducted in three Australian States and across 290 sites sampled monthly for two years. Pastures played a key role in harbouring pest species consistent across States, while native vegetation hosted relatively more predators than other habitat types within each State. Furthermore, native plant species supported the lowest pest density and more predators than pests; in contrast, 75% of the exotic weed species surveyed hosted more pests than predators. Despite the role of pasture in harbouring pests, we found in NSW that pasture also supported the highest proportion of juvenile predators, while native vegetation remnants had the lowest.

Our results indicate that non-crop habitat (native remnants or pasture) with few exotic weeds supports high predator and low pest arthropod densities, and that weeds are associated with high pest densities. By linking broad response variables such as ‘all pests’ with specific predictors such as ‘plant species’, our study will inform on-farm management actions of which weeds to control and which natives to plant or regenerate. This study shows the importance of knowing the function of habitats and plants species in supporting pests and predators in agricultural landscapes across multiple regions.
Keyword Biological control
Ecosystem services
Habitat functionality
Integrated pest management
Pest suppressive landscapes
Re vegetation
Sustainable farming
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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