Tag: Agroecosystem

Plant diversity in a nutshell: testing for small-scale effects on trap nesting wild bees and wasps

Declining plant species richness in agro-ecosystems and thus reduced habitat quality can have cascading effects on ecosystem functioning, leading to reduced pollination and biological control. Here we test if plant diversity can affect arthropod diversity and abundance on a very small scale, manipulating plant species richness (2, 6, 12 and 20 sown species) in small adjacent subplots (63…

Read more Plant diversity in a nutshell: testing for small-scale effects on trap nesting wild bees and wasps

The importance of landscape and spatial structure for hymenopteran-based food-webs in an agro-ecosystem

1. Understanding the environmental factors that structure biodiversity and food webs among communities is central to assess and mitigate the impact of landscape changes. 2. Wildflower strips are ecological compensation areas established in farmland to increase pollination services and biological control of crop pests and to conserve insect diversity. They are arranged in networks in order to favour…

Read more The importance of landscape and spatial structure for hymenopteran-based food-webs in an agro-ecosystem

Direct and indirect bottom-up and top-down forces shape the abundance of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi

Picture: O. Bruggisser Species abundance in local communities is determined by bottom-up and top-down processes, which can act directly and indirectly on the focal species. Studies examining these effects simultaneously are rare. Here we explore the direct top-down and direct and indirect bottom-up forces regulating the abundance and predation success of an intermediate predator, the…

Read more Direct and indirect bottom-up and top-down forces shape the abundance of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi

Diversity protects plant communities against generalist molluscan herbivores

Wildflower strips are used to increase natural enemies of crop pests and to con- serve insect diversity on farmland. Mollusks, especially slugs, can affect the vege- tation development in these strips considerably. Although recent theoretical work suggests that more diverse plant communities will exhibit greater resistance against herbivore pressure, empirical studies are scarce. We conducted…

Read more Diversity protects plant communities against generalist molluscan herbivores