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Similar diversity of cereal aphid parasitoids in simple and complex landscapes.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


  • Ines M. G. Vollhardt
  • Teja Tscharntke
  • Felix L. Wäckers
  • Felix J. J. A. Bianchi
  • Carsten Thies
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Number of pages4
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Structurally complex landscapes may enhance local species richness and interactions, which is possibly due to a higher species pool in complex landscapes. This hypothesis was tested using cereal aphid parasitoids (Hymenoptera, Aphidiidae) by comparing 12 winter wheat fields in structurally complex landscapes (>50% semi-natural habitats; n = 6) and structurally simple landscapes dominated by agricultural lands (>80% arable land; n = 6). Surprisingly, landscape structural complexity had no effect on aphid parasitoid species diversity. In complex landscapes 12 and in simple landscapes 11 species were found; 9 species occurred in both landscape types. Hence, arable fields in high-intensity agricultural landscapes with little non-crop area can support a similar diversity of cereal aphid parasitoids as structurally complex landscapes. This finding suggests that cereal aphid parasitoids may find necessary resources even in simple landscapes, making generalisations concerning the relationship between landscape composition and biodiversity in arable fields difficult.