Karp, D. S., R. Chaplin-Kramer, T. D. Meehan, E. A. Martin, F. DeClerck, H. Grab, C. Gratton, L. Hunt, A. E. Larsen, A. Martínez-Salinas, M. E. O’Rourke, A. Rusch, K. Poveda, M. Jonsson, J. A. Rosenheim, N. A. Schellhorn, T. Tscharntke, S. D. Wratten, W. Zhang, A. L. Iverson, L. S. Adler, M. Albrecht, A. Alignier, G. M. Angelella, M. Zubair Anjum, J. Avelino, P. Batáry, J. M. Baveco, F. J. Bianchi, K. Birkhofer, E. W. Bohnenblust, R. Bommarco, M. J. Brewer, B. Caballero-López, Y. Carrière, L. G. Carvalheiro, L. Cayuela, M. Centrella, A. Ćetković, D. C. Henri, A. Chabert, A. C. Costamagna, A. De la Mora, J. de Kraker, N. Desneux, E. Diehl, T. Diekötter, C. F. Dormann, J. O. Eckberg, M. H. Entling, D. Fiedler, P. Franck, F. J. Frank van Veen, T. Frank, V. Gagic, M. P. Garratt, A. Getachew, D. J. Gonthier, P. B. Goodell, I. Graziosi, R. L. Groves, G. M. Gurr, Z. Hajian-Forooshani, G. E. Heimpel, J. D. Herrmann, A. S. Huseth, D. J. Inclán, A. J. Ingrao, P. Iv, K. Jacot, G. A. Johnson, L. Jones, M. Kaiser, J. M. Kaser, T. Keasar, T. N. Kim, M. Kishinevsky, D. A. Landis, B. Lavandero, C. Lavigne, A. Le Ralec, D. Lemessa, D. K. Letourneau, H. Liere, Y. Lu, Y. Lubin, T. Luttermoser, B. Maas, K. Mace, F. Madeira, V. Mader, A. M. Cortesero, L. Marini, E. Martinez, H. M. Martinson, P. Menozzi, M. G. Mitchell, T. Miyashita, G. A. Molina, M. A. Molina-Montenegro, M. E. O’Neal, I. Opatovsky, S. Ortiz-Martinez, M. Nash, Ö. Östman, A. Ouin, D. Pak, D. Paredes, S. Parsa, H. Parry, R. Perez-Alvarez, D. J. Perović, J. A. Peterson, S. Petit, S. M. Philpott, M. Plantegenest, M. Plećaš, T. Pluess, X. Pons, S. G. Potts, R. F. Pywell, D. W. Ragsdale, T. A. Rand, L. Raymond, B. Ricci, C. Sargent, J. Sarthou, J. Saulais, J. Schäckermann, N. P. Schmidt, G. Schneider, C. Schüepp, F. S. Sivakoff, H. G. Smith, K. Stack Whitney, S. Stutz, Z. Szendrei, M. B. Takada, H. Taki, G. Tamburini, L. J. Thomson, Y. Tricault, N. Tsafack, M. Tschumi, M. Valantin-Morison, M. Van Trinh, W. van der Werf, K. T. Vierling, B. P. Werling, J. B. Wickens, V. J. Wickens, B. A. Woodcock, K. Wyckhuys, H. Xiao, M. Yasuda, A. Yoshioka, and Y. Zou. 2018. Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115:E7863.
Decades of research have fostered the now-prevalent assumption that noncrop habitat facilitates better pest suppression by providing shelter and food resources to the predators and parasitoids of crop pests. Based on our analysis of the largest pest-control database of its kind, noncrop habitat surrounding farm fields does affect multiple dimensions of pest control, but the actual responses of pests and enemies are highly variable across geographies and cropping systems. Because noncrop habitat often does not enhance biological control, more information about local farming contexts is needed before habitat conservation can be recommended as a viable pest-suppression strategy. Consequently, when pest control does not benefit from noncrop vegetation, farms will need to be carefully comanaged for competing conservation and production objectives.The idea that noncrop habitat enhances pest control and represents a win–win opportunity to conserve biodiversity and bolster yields has emerged as an agroecological paradigm. However, while noncrop habitat in landscapes surrounding farms sometimes benefits pest predators, natural enemy responses remain heterogeneous across studies and effects on pests are inconclusive. The observed heterogeneity in species responses to noncrop habitat may be biological in origin or could result from variation in how habitat and biocontrol are measured. Here, we use a pest-control database encompassing 132 studies and 6,759 sites worldwide to model natural enemy and pest abundances, predation rates, and crop damage as a function of landscape composition. Our results showed that although landscape composition explained significant variation within studies, pest and enemy abundances, predation rates, crop damage, and yields each exhibited different responses across studies, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing in landscapes with more noncrop habitat but overall showing no consistent trend. Thus, models that used landscape-composition variables to predict pest-control dynamics demonstrated little potential to explain variation across studies, though prediction did improve when comparing studies with similar crop and landscape features. Overall, our work shows that surrounding noncrop habitat does not consistently improve pest management, meaning habitat conservation may bolster production in some systems and depress yields in others. Future efforts to develop tools that inform farmers when habitat conservation truly represents a win–win would benefit from increased understanding of how landscape effects are modulated by local farm management and the biology of pests and their enemies.
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