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High Redundancy as well as Complementary Prey Choice Characterize Generalist Predator Food Webs in Agroecosystems
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience. University of Skövde, The Systems Biology Research Centre. Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden. (Ekologisk modellering, Ecological Modelling Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5234-9576
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Mountain Agriculture Research Unit, Institute of Ecology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
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2018 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 8, article id 8054Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food web structure influences ecosystem functioning and the strength and stability of associated ecosystem services. With their broad diet, generalist predators represent key nodes in the structure of many food webs and they contribute substantially to ecosystem services such as biological pest control. However, until recently it has been difficult to empirically assess food web structure with generalist predators. We utilized DNA-based molecular gut-content analyses to assess the prey use of a set of generalist invertebrate predator species common in temperate agricultural fields. We investigated the degree of specialization of predator-prey food webs at two key stages of the cropping season and analysed the link temperature of different trophic links, to identify non-random predation. We found a low level of specialization in our food webs, and identified warm and cool links which may result from active prey choice or avoidance. We also found a within-season variation in interaction strength between predators and aphid pests which differed among predator species. Our results show a high time-specific functional redundancy of the predator community, but also suggest temporally complementary prey choice due to within-season succession of some predator species.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2018. Vol. 8, article id 8054
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Ecology
Research subject
Ecological Modelling Group
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URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15588DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-26191-0ISI: 000432789300032PubMedID: 29795226Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85047507398OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-15588DiVA, id: diva2:1218612
Available from: 2018-06-14 Created: 2018-06-14 Last updated: 2019-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Tomas

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