Research ArticleAGRICULTURE

Trading biodiversity for pest problems

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Science Advances  31 Jul 2015:
Vol. 1, no. 6, e1500558
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500558
  • Fig. 1 High biodiversity is correlated with low pest abundance in maize.

    (A and B) Here, biodiversity is measured as the Shannon Index (A) and community evenness (B). Each data point represents a single farm; the complete foliar arthropod community was identified at each field, and the pest abundance (Diabrotica spp., lepidopteran pests, and aphids) per plant (log-transformed) was enumerated.

  • Fig. 2 Increasing network linkage strength and reduced pest populations in maize.

    (A and B) Here, network strength is represented as the average proportion of linkages per species relative to those possible within the network (degree; A) and the average number of linkages per species within the network (connectivity; B). The entire foliar arthropod community was described on 53 maize farms, and pest abundance (Diabrotica spp., lepidopteran pests, and aphids) per plant was recorded. Farms were assigned to 1 of 10 groups based on their pest abundance (n = 5 to 6 farms each), and pairwise Spearman correlation tests were conducted for all taxa within the community; linkages were assigned to significant coefficients. Error bars represent SEM. Connectivity (Randić connectivity index) is a network-wide metric, so variance is not applicable.

  • Fig. 3 Network centralization is associated with fewer pests in maize.

    The entire foliar arthropod community was described on 53 maize farms, and pest abundance (Diabrotica spp., lepidopteran pests, and aphids) per plant was recorded. Farms were assigned to 1 of 10 groups based on their pest abundance (n = 5 to 6 farms each), and pairwise Spearman correlation tests were conducted for all taxa within the community; linkages were assigned to significant coefficients. Network centralization is defined as a sum of the ratio of the variation in d for a species to the maximum variation in d in the network. Error bars represent SEM.

Supplementary Materials

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    • Fig. S1. Species networks representing the maize arthropod communities with lowest (A) and highest (B) pest abundances.

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