Archetype models upscale understanding of natural pest control response to land-use change

Nikolaos Alexandridis, Glenn Marion, Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Matteo Dainese, Johan Ekroos, Heather Grab, Mattias Jonsson, Daniel S. Karp, Carsten Meyer, Megan E. O'Rourke, Mikael Pontarp, Katja Poveda, Ralf Seppelt, Henrik G. Smith, Richard J. Walters, Yann Clough, Emily A. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Control of crop pests by shifting host plant availability and natural enemy activity at landscape scales has great potential to enhance the sustainability of agriculture. However, mainstreaming natural pest control requires improved understanding of how its benefits can be realized across a variety of agroecological contexts. Empirical studies suggest significant but highly variable responses of natural pest control to land-use change. Current ecological models are either too specific to provide insight across agroecosystems or too generic to guide management with actionable predictions. We suggest obtaining the full benefit of available empirical, theoretical, and methodological knowledge by combining trait-mediated understanding from correlative studies with the explicit representation of causal relationships achieved by mechanistic modeling. To link these frameworks, we adapt the concept of archetypes, or context-specific generalizations, from sustainability science. Similar responses of natural pest control to land-use gradients across cases that share key attributes, such as functional traits of focal organisms, indicate general processes that drive system behavior in a context-sensitive manner. Based on such observations of natural pest control, a systematic definition of archetypes can provide the basis for mechanistic models of intermediate generality that cover all major agroecosystems worldwide. Example applications demonstrate the potential for upscaling understanding and improving predictions of natural pest control, based on knowledge transfer and scientific synthesis. A broader application of this mechanistic archetype approach promises to enhance ecology's contribution to natural resource management across diverse regions and social-ecological contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2696
JournalEcological Applications
Volume32
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Benjamin Feit, Shem Kuyah, Tim Luttermoser, Charles Midega, and Jay A. Rosenheim for sharing their knowledge of natural pest control systems in Africa and North America. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for critically reading the manuscript and suggesting substantial improvements. Nikolaos Alexandridis was supported by the 2013–2014 BiodivERsA/Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change joint call for research proposals (project ECODEAL), with the national funders Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, Austrian Science Fund, Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, The Dutch Research Council, and Projektträger im Deutschen Zentrum für Luft‐ und Raumfahrt. Glenn Marion is supported by the Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS). Rebecca Chaplin‐Kramer and Daniel S. Karp acknowledge support from the US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Award 2020‐67021‐32477. Mattias Jonsson acknowledges support from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Centre for Biological Control. Carsten Meyer acknowledges funding by the Volkswagen Foundation through a Freigeist Fellowship (A118199) and additional support from iDiv, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG–FZT 118, 202548816). The work was supported by two workshops at Lund University funded by the strategic research area Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate and a workshop funded and hosted by UFZ.

Funding Information:
2013‐2014 BiodivERsA/FACCE‐JPI joint call for research proposals (project ECODEAL), with the national funders ANR, BMBF, FORMAS, FWF, MINECO, NWO and PT‐DLR; Helmholtz‐Zentrum für Umweltforschung; iDiv, funded by the German Research Foundation, Grant/Award Numbers: DFG‐FZT 118, 202548816; Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS); SLU Centre for Biological Control; Strategic research area Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate (BECC); US Dept. of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Grant/Award Number: 2020‐67021‐32477; Volkswagen Foundation through a Freigeist Fellowship, Grant/Award Number: A118199 Funding information

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Ecological Applications published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Ecological Society of America.

Keywords

  • archetype
  • conservation biological control
  • crop
  • ecological model
  • land use
  • landscape
  • natural enemy
  • natural pest control
  • pest
  • upscale

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