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Data from: Landscape complexity promotes resilience of biological pest control to climate change

Citation

Feit, Benjamin et al. (2021), Data from: Landscape complexity promotes resilience of biological pest control to climate change, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.np5hqbzrq

Abstract

Increased climate variability as a result of anthropogenic climate change can threaten the functioning of ecosystem services. However, diverse responses to climate change among species (response diversity) can provide ecosystems with resilience to this growing threat. Measuring and managing response diversity and resilience to global change are key ecological challenges. Here, we develop a novel index of climate resilience of ecosystem services, exemplified by calculating the thermal resilience of predator communities providing biological pest control. Field assays revealed substantial differences in temperature-dependent activity of predator species. Based on this information, our index revealed higher thermal resilience in predator communities of high response diversity and functional evenness (equity in service provisioning). Predator assemblages with higher thermal resilience provided more stable pest control in microcosms where temperature was experimentally varied, confirming that the index of thermal resilience developed here is linked to predator function. Importantly, complex landscapes containing a high number of non-crop habitat patches were more likely to contain predator communities with high thermal resilience. Thus, the conservation and restoration of non-crop habitats in agricultural landscapes – practices known to strengthen natural pest suppression under current conditions – will also confer resilience in ecosystem service provisioning within a changing climate.

Methods

Data obtained from field trapping for ground-dwelling arthropod predators in spring barley fields surrouding the city of Uppsala, south-central Sweden.

Field trapping for temperature niche calculations was conducted over five consecutive weeks in the months of June and July 2017 with sampling occasions one day per week over a total period of five weeks. During each day of sampling, traps were open for one 2-hour period in the morning (10:00 -12:00) and one 2-hour period in the afternoon (13:00 -15:00), emptied immediately after each 2-hour period and kept closed before and after sampling sessions. Miniature temperature loggers (SL54TH, Signatrol, Tewkesbury, United Kingdom) were used to monitor ambient temperature during the surveys. Each logger was located approx. 2 cm above the soil surface and protected from direct sunlight by a plastic tray located an additional 5 cm above the logger. For each transect and sampling session, the average of temperature readings of the six loggers was calculated and used as ambient temperature for the subsequent analysis of predator-specific temperature niches. The data set contains the number of individual predators collected at the respective temperature.

Field trapping for activity densities for the landscape analysis was conducted over five consecutive weeks in the months of May and June in 2011. Traps were open for the entire sampling period and emptied weekly.

Funding

Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas, Award: 2016-01511

Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet