Regional-scale effects override the influence of fine-scale landscape heterogeneity on rice arthropod communities
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 2017, 246 pp. 269 - 278
- Issue Date:
© 2017 The Authors Irrigated rice croplands are among the most biologically diverse agroecosystems globally; however, intensification and simplification of farmed areas into homogeneous monocultures can lead to biodiversity loss and a reduction of associated ecosystem services such as natural pest regulation. Understanding how landscape heterogeneity affects the diversity of arthropod communities is therefore crucial for the sustainable management of rice agroecosystems. Here, we examine the influence of fine-scale landscape heterogeneity and regional-scale effects on the arthropod communities of three rice-production regions in the Philippines. Our analysis of 213 arthropod morphospecies (37,339 individuals) collected using two sampling methods at 28 field sites indicated that the rice agroecosystems in each study region had unique arthropod assemblages, likely reflecting region-specific environmental and land-use conditions. For all sites together, we found no effect of fine-scale landscape context (classified as rather high or low heterogeneity sites) on assemblage structure (arthropod abundance, species richness or diversity). When assemblages were analyzed separately, significant effects of fine-scale landscape context were only detected in one region and for two functional groups (predators and detritivores). Elevation gradient, used as a proxy for regional-scale effects in the study regions, explained more than 60% of variance in assemblage structure. Total arthropod abundance and rarefied species richness were negatively related to elevation, suggesting that regional-scale effects rather than fine-scale landscape heterogeneity explained the composition of rice-arthropod communities in landscapes. To further disentangle the complex effects of broad-scale environmental drivers versus fine-scale landscape complexity on arthropod communities and biocontrol services, future research in rice agroecosystems should focus on a more detailed quantification of landscape heterogeneity and examine its effect at multiple spatial scales.
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