Surrounding landscape influences the abundance of insect predators in rice field

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Abstract

Background: Natural enemy abundance in a crop plot depends on its prey presence and also influenced by habitats close to field. Landscape changes are also important factors driving pest and natural enemy population abundance in a specific crop field. Examining these kinds of effects on insect pests or biocontrol agents, as well as analysis of their functional food webs, would be asset to make a fruitful pest management programme at local scales. Therefore, this study was undertaken to evaluate the impact of surrounding landscape on the abundance insect predators in rice field. Results: This study revealed a dependency on rice bund margin width, with spider populations increasing with increased bund widths. Conversely, population abundance did not rely on the number of weed species observed on earthen ridge around the rice field. In general, relative abundances of predator populations differed significantly across the three landscapes tested. Among the four predators of rice insect pest, the green mirid bug showed highest number irrespective of landscape. Comparatively, higher predator diversity (Shanon diversity) was observed in landscape I followed by landscape III and landscape II. All landscapes showed different diversity indices indicating heterozygosity existed in each study site. These landscape diversity influences the predator's abundances at a local scale. Variogram derived from this study also indicated the landscape heterozygosity existed in studied locations which can also explain the predator's abundances in rice field at locale scale. Conclusion: These findings suggest that predators of rice insect pests are landscape specific. Therefore, characterization of each local landscape in Bangladesh rice production landscapes are necessary before planning and implementation of integrated pest management. Geospatial analysis of local landscape would be more effective to analyze such unique characteristics. As a step in this direction, preliminary variography analyses using the RED spectral band of December 2016 LANDSAT 8 imagery propose an initial learning suite of methods for describing useful local characteristics affecting rice pest predators.

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Ali, M. P., Kabir, M. M. M., Haque, S. S., Afrin, S., Ahmed, N., Pittendrigh, B., & Qin, X. (2020). Surrounding landscape influences the abundance of insect predators in rice field. BMC Zoology, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40850-020-00059-1

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