Conserving threatened beneficial insects: bees, wasps and hoverflies in UK silvoarable systems

Presentation


Staton, Tom, Walters,Richard J., Smith, Jo, Breeze, Tom D., Davies, Sian K. and Girling, Tom Staton. 2021. "Conserving threatened beneficial insects: bees, wasps and hoverflies in UK silvoarable systems." 5th European Agroforestry Conference (EURAF2020). Sardinia, Italy 17 - 19 May 2021 Italy.
Paper/Presentation Title

Conserving threatened beneficial insects: bees, wasps and hoverflies in UK silvoarable systems

Presentation TypePresentation
AuthorsStaton, Tom, Walters,Richard J., Smith, Jo, Breeze, Tom D., Davies, Sian K. and Girling, Tom Staton
Journal Citationpp. 225-226
Number of Pages2
Year2021
Place of PublicationItaly
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttps://euraf.isa.utl.pt/files/pub/final_book_of_abstract_-_euraf_2020_10.1_rid_1_0.pdf
Conference/Event5th European Agroforestry Conference (EURAF2020)
Event Details
5th European Agroforestry Conference (EURAF2020)
Delivery
In person
Event Date
17 to end of 19 May 2021
Event Location
Sardinia, Italy
Event Web Address (URL)
Abstract

Arable farming is facing increasing demand to improve productivity, but to do so in a sustainable manner, including mitigating declines in global biodiversity. Silvoarable agroforestry systems have the potential to be a ‘win-win’ solution. For example, these systems can enhance natural enemy and pollinator abundances whilst suppressing pests, compared to arable (Staton et al. 2019).
The benefits of agroforestry systems are reasonably well understood for some taxonomic groups, such as ground beetles and aphids. However, bees, wasps (including parasitoids) and hoverflies are relatively poorly studied in agroforestry, despite their importance for the natural control of pests and pollination of crops. Furthermore, bees and wasps are amongst the taxa most affected by insect declines globally (Sánchez-Bayo and Wyckhuys 2019). The aim of this study was therefore to assess whether agroforestry systems could help conserve these threatened beneficial insects.
Our study sites comprised three working farms in England, all of which contained a silvoarable agroforestry field and a monocropped arable field under the same management and rotation. Two farms were organic, the third was conventional and minimum-till. Crop rotations were based around cereals, plus oilseed rape at the conventional farm. Agroforestry alleys were 24 m wide, tree rows were 3-4 m wide and principally comprised apple trees on MM106 rootstocks, planted between 2009 and 2015. Agroforestry field sizes were approximately 5.6, 3.8 and 12 ha respectively at the three sites (the latter field set within a 52 ha agroforestry system), while the corresponding arable field sizes were 6.1, 3.0 and 7.6 ha respectively.
Sampling was undertaken in 2018 and 2019. At each site, two agroforestry alleys were selected for sampling. Within these, 16 sampling points (eight in each alley including its adjacent tree rows) were selected at set distances from the tree rows. This procedure was repeated in an arable field at each site, to act as a control. At each point, a set of three UV-bright pan traps was deployed to capture flying insects. Each trapping day lasted for at least five hours, and was repeated nine times over the two-year period. All bees, wasps and hoverflies captured in the traps were assigned to taxonomic groups (Fig. 1).
Taxonomic richness and diversity (Shannon index) of bees, wasps and hoverflies collectively were significantly higher in agroforestry than arable fields (mixed models, t=3.007, p-value=0.003; t=3.414, p- value<0.001). Six of the taxonomic groups were significantly more abundant in agroforestry than arable fields (Fig. 1). The strongest effects were seen for the two predatory wasp taxa. We hypothesise that social wasps were attracted by apples in the tree rows, but could also aid biocontrol by hunting insect pests. Two of the three parasitoid wasp taxa were significantly more abundant in agroforestry than arable fields. However the braconid wasps were less abundant in the agroforestry fields. This effect was driven by an early-season influx of braconids into the arable field at one site, possibly attracted by a high prey resource.
Two of the five pollinator groups, comprising bumblebees and the small halictid bees, were significantly more abundant in agroforestry than arable fields. This is consistent with a study in the UK showing higher solitary bee abundance in agroforestry than monocultures, although in contrast to that study, we found no significant difference for hoverfly abundance (Varah et al. 2020).
Our findings of benefits to bees, wasps and hoverflies could be explained by the higher availability of flower and nesting resources in agroforestry tree rows compared to arable fields. Pan traps are less effective in flower-dense areas (O’Connor et al. 2019), therefore, our results may underestimate the benefits of agroforestry. In addition, field sizes were relatively small at two of the sites (3.8 and 5.6 ha), and set within relatively diverse landscapes (particularly within a 2 km radius), which could allow insects to rapidly colonise the arable fields from surrounding semi-natural habitat. Stronger effects could therefore be predicted at larger-scale farms.
In conclusion, we find strong evidence for higher taxonomic richness and diversity of bees, wasps and hoverflies, and abundance of predatory wasps and pollinators, in agroforestry compared to arable fields. This suggests that agroforestry systems can play a role in the conservation of these threatened insects, while improving the sustainability of agriculture by providing natural pest control and pollination services.

Keywordsnatural pest control; parasitoids; pollinators; pollination; natural enemies
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020410204. Ecosystem services (incl. pollination)
300701. Agroforestry
410401. Conservation and biodiversity
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Reading, United Kingdom
Lund University, Sweden
MV Agroecological Research Centre, Portugal
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Pope, T. W., Girling, R. D., Staley, J. T., Trigodet, B., Wright, D. J., Leather, S. R., van Emden, H. F. and Poppy, G. M.. 2012. "Effects of organic and conventional fertilizer treatments on host selection by the aphid parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae." Journal of Applied Entomology. 136 (6), pp. 445-455. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0418.2011.01667.x
Does acute exposure to diesel exhaust pollution elicit a neurological stress response in honeybees and impact on their ability to learn and memorize a floral odor?
Girling, RD, Reitmayer, CM, Farthing, E, Lusebrink, I, Jackson, CW, Poppy, GM and Newman, TA. 2012. "Does acute exposure to diesel exhaust pollution elicit a neurological stress response in honeybees and impact on their ability to learn and memorize a floral odor?" International Society of Chemical Ecology Annual Meeting 2012. Vilnius, Lithuania 22 201 - 26 Jul 2012
Observations on the flight paths of the day-flying moth Virbia lamae during periods of mate location: do males have a strategy for contacting the pheromone plume?
Cardé, Ring T., Cardé, Anja M. and Girling, Robbie D.. 2012. "Observations on the flight paths of the day-flying moth Virbia lamae during periods of mate location: do males have a strategy for contacting the pheromone plume?" Journal of Animal Ecology. 81 (1), pp. 268-276. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01887.x
Organic and conventional fertilizer effects on a tritrophic interaction: parasitism, performance and preference of Cotesia vestalis
Staley, J. T., Girling, R. D., Stewart-Jones, A., Poppy, G. M., Leather, S. R. and Wright, D. J.. 2011. "Organic and conventional fertilizer effects on a tritrophic interaction: parasitism, performance and preference of Cotesia vestalis." Journal of Applied Entomology. 135 (9), pp. 658-665. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0418.2010.01604.x
Parasitoids select plants more heavily infested with their caterpillar hosts: a new approach to aid interpretation of plant headspace volatiles
Girling, Robbie D., Stewart-Jones, Alex, Dherbecourt, Julie, Staley, Joanna T., Wright, Wright and Poppy, Guy M.. 2011. "Parasitoids select plants more heavily infested with their caterpillar hosts: a new approach to aid interpretation of plant headspace volatiles." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 278 (1718), pp. 2646-2653. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2725
Utilizing insect behavior in chemical detection by a behavioral biosensor
Fernández-Grandon, G., Girling, Robbie D. and Poppy, Guy M.. 2011. "Utilizing insect behavior in chemical detection by a behavioral biosensor." Journal of Plant Interactions. 6 (2-3), pp. 109-112. https://doi.org/10.1080/17429145.2010.544778
The lethal and sub-lethal consequences of entomopathogenic nematode infestation and exposure for adult pine weevils, Hylobius abietis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Girling, R.D., Ennis, D., Dillon, A.B. and Griffin, C.T.. 2010. "The lethal and sub-lethal consequences of entomopathogenic nematode infestation and exposure for adult pine weevils, Hylobius abietis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)." Journal of Invertebrate Pathology. 104 (3), pp. 195-202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jip.2010.04.003
Biology and Reproductive Behavior of Murgantia histrionica (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)
Zahn, Deane K, Girling, Robbie D., McElfresh, J Steven, Cardé, Ring T. and Millar, Jocelyn G. 2008. "Biology and Reproductive Behavior of Murgantia histrionica (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)." Annals of the Entomological Society of America: devoted to the interest of classical entomology. 101 (1), pp. 215-228. https://doi.org/10.1603/0013-8746(2008)101[215:BARBOM]2.0.CO;2
Investigations into plant biochemical wound-response pathways involved in the production of aphid-induced plant volatiles
Girling, Robbie D., Madison, Rachael, Hassall, Mark, Poppy, Guy M. and Turner, John G.. 2008. "Investigations into plant biochemical wound-response pathways involved in the production of aphid-induced plant volatiles." Journal of Experimental Botany. 59 (11), pp. 3077-3085. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ern163
Behavioural responses of the seven-spot ladybird Coccinella septempunctata to plant headspace chemicals collected from four crop Brassicas and Arabidopsis thaliana, infested with Myzus persicae
Girling, R.D. and Hassall, M.. 2008. "Behavioural responses of the seven-spot ladybird Coccinella septempunctata to plant headspace chemicals collected from four crop Brassicas and Arabidopsis thaliana, infested with Myzus persicae." Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 10 (4), pp. 297-306. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-9563.2008.00379.x
Analysis and Manipulation of the Structure of Odor Plumes from a Piezo-Electric Release System and Measurements of Upwind Flight of Male Almond Moths, Cadra cautella, to Pheromone Plumes
Girling, Robbie D. and Cardé, Ring T.. 2007. "Analysis and Manipulation of the Structure of Odor Plumes from a Piezo-Electric Release System and Measurements of Upwind Flight of Male Almond Moths, Cadra cautella, to Pheromone Plumes." Journal of Chemical Ecology. 33 (10), pp. 1927-1945. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-007-9349-3
Do turning biases by the 7-spot ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata, increase their foraging efficiency?
Girling, Robbie D., Hassall, Mark and Turner, John G.. 2007. "Do turning biases by the 7-spot ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata, increase their foraging efficiency?" Behaviour: an international journal of behaviourial biology. 144 (2), pp. 143-163. https://doi.org/10.1163/156853907779947337
Behavioural responses of the aphid parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae to volatiles from Arabidopsis thaliana induced by Myzus persicae
Girling, R.D., Hassall, M., Turner, J.G. and Poppy, G.M.. 2006. "Behavioural responses of the aphid parasitoid Diaeretiella rapae to volatiles from Arabidopsis thaliana induced by Myzus persicae." Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 120 (1), pp. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1570-7458.2006.00423.x
Analysis and manipulation of odor-plume structure from a piezo-electric pheromone release system and its effects on upwind flight of male moths to pheromone
Girling, R.D. and Cardé, R.T.. 2006. "Analysis and manipulation of odor-plume structure from a piezo-electric pheromone release system and its effects on upwind flight of male moths to pheromone." International Society of Chemical Ecology Annual Meeting 2006. Barcelona, Spain 15 - 19 Jul 2006 Spain.
Analysis of the Courtship Behavior of the Navel Orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), with a Commentary on Methods for the Analysis of Sequences of Behavioral Transitions
Girling, Robbie D. and Cardé, Ring T.. 2006. "Analysis of the Courtship Behavior of the Navel Orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), with a Commentary on Methods for the Analysis of Sequences of Behavioral Transitions." Journal of Insect Behavior. 19 (4), pp. 497-520. https://doi.org/https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10905-006-9041-4
Mating and mate finding behavior of the navel orangeworm
Girling, Robbie and Cardé, Ring T.. 2005. "Mating and mate finding behavior of the navel orangeworm." Entomological society of america pacific branch 89th annual meeting. Pacific Grove, California, United States 27 Feb - 02 Mar 2005 United States.
Responses of Diaeretiella rapae to volatiles induced by aphids from Arabidopsis thaliana mutants
Girling, R.D., Hassall, M., Poppy, G.M. and Turner, J.G.. 2003. "Responses of Diaeretiella rapae to volatiles induced by aphids from Arabidopsis thaliana mutants ." Royal Entomological Society’s 22nd Annual Meeting. Reading, UK 2003 - 2004
‘Handedness’ in the 7-spot ladybird beetle, Coccinella septempunctata: a problem for y-tube olfactometry
Girling, Robbie and Hassall, Mark. 2002. "‘Handedness’ in the 7-spot ladybird beetle, Coccinella septempunctata: a problem for y-tube olfactometry." International Society of Chemical Ecology Annual Meeting 2002. Hamburg, Germany 03 - 07 Aug 2002 Germany.