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Crop-noncrop spillover: arable fields affect trophic interactions on wild plants in surrounding habitats
- Gladbach, David J., Holzschuh, Andrea, Scherber, Christoph, Thies, Carsten, Dormann, Carsten F., Tscharntke, Teja
- Oecologia 2011 v.166 no.2 pp. 433-441
- Brassica napus var. napus, Ichneumonidae, Meligethes aeneus, Sinapis arvensis, agricultural land, agroecosystems, arable soils, crop rotation, crops, edge effects, fallow, food webs, grasslands, habitats, landscapes, mustard, parasitism, parasitoids, planting, pollen, wheat, wild plants, wood
- Ecosystem processes in agricultural landscapes are often triggered by resource availability in crop and noncrop habitats. We investigated how oilseed rape (OSR; Brassica napus, Brassicaceae) affects noncrop plants in managed systems and semi-natural habitat, using trophic interactions among wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis, Brassicaceae), rape pollen beetles (Meligethes aeneus, Nitidulidae) and their parasitoids (Tersilochus heterocerus, Ichneumonidae). We exposed wild mustard as phytometer plants in two cropland habitat types (wheat field, field margin) and three noncrop habitat types (fallow, grassland, wood margin) across eight landscapes along a gradient from simple to complex (quantified as % arable land). Both landscape and local factors affected the abundance of rape pollen beetles and parasitoids. Rape pollen beetle infestation and parasitism rates on these plants were lower in noncrop habitats and higher in wheat fields and field margins, whereas beetles and parasitoids responded differently to landscape scale parameters. We found the hypothesized spillover from OSR crop onto wild plants in surrounding habitats only for parasitoids, but not for pollen beetles. Parasitism rates were not related to landscape simplification, but benefited from increasing proportions of OSR. In contrast, rape pollen beetles benefited from simple landscape structures, presumably due to multi-annual population build-ups resulting from long-term OSR planting (as part of the crop rotation). In conclusion, we showed that spillover from cropland affects parasitism rates on related wild plants outside cropland, which has not been shown so far, but can be expected to be a widespread effect shaping noncrop food webs.