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Anolis lizards as biocontrol agents in mainland and island agroecosystems

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Our knowledge of ecological interactions that bolster ecosystem function and productivity has broad applications to the management of agricultural systems. Studies suggest that the presence of generalist predators in agricultural landscapes leads to a decrease in the abundance of herbivorous pests, but our understanding of how these interactions vary across taxa and along gradients of management intensity and eco‐geographic space remains incomplete. In this study, we assessed the functional response and biocontrol potential of a highly ubiquitous insectivore (lizards in the genus Anolis) on the world's most important coffee pest, the coffee berry borer (Hypothalemus hampei). We conducted field surveys and laboratory experiments to examine the impact of land‐use intensification on species richness and abundance of anoles and the capacity of anoles to reduce berry borer infestations in mainland and island coffee systems. Our results show that anoles significantly reduce coffee infestation rates in laboratory settings (Mexico, p = .03, F = 5.13 df = 1, 35; Puerto Rico, p = .014, F = 8.82, df = 1, 10) and are capable of consuming coffee berry borers in high abundance. Additionally, diversified agroecosystems bolster anole abundance, while high‐intensity practices, including the reduction of vegetation complexity and the application of agrochemicals were associated with reduced anole abundance. The results of this study provide supporting evidence of the positive impact of generalist predators on the control of crop pests in agricultural landscapes, and the role of diversified agroecosystems in sustaining both functionally diverse communities and crop production in tropical agroecosystems.

No MeSH data available.


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Laboratory setup for the experimental assessment of CBB infestation reduction. Each individual anole was paired with a single coffee branch per enclosure tent (a) and all enclosure tents were housed in a semi‐outdoor laboratory with natural sunlight and ambient conditions (b). (c) is a representative photograph of CBB entry holes used to assess coffee berry infestation
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ece32806-fig-0003: Laboratory setup for the experimental assessment of CBB infestation reduction. Each individual anole was paired with a single coffee branch per enclosure tent (a) and all enclosure tents were housed in a semi‐outdoor laboratory with natural sunlight and ambient conditions (b). (c) is a representative photograph of CBB entry holes used to assess coffee berry infestation

Mentions: The infestation reduction potential of anoles was assessed by housing an individual anole in a 60 × 60 × 60 cm BugDorm© experimental mesh tent containing a single coffee branch (Figure 3a). Experiments were conducted in a semi‐outdoor laboratory with a single mesh screen wall that provided a natural photoperiod and ambient temperatures sufficient for natural feeding activities for the lizards. Branches with bored fruits were selected from the field to ensure that the berries were ripe enough for infestation by the berry borer. All bored berries and insects were removed from each selected branch before the start of the experiment, with twenty fruits and multiple leaves left remaining on each branch. Individual branches were positioned vertically in 35‐mm plastic canisters filled with water (Figure 3b). The top of each canister and branch based was wrapped in Parafilm© plastic to prevent CBB mortality. Each branch was then placed in the center of an inverted plastic bowl for vertical orientation and covered by a strip of bark. Bark was used to increase basking area and allow the anole to move freely from the coffee branch to the base of the enclosure.


Anolis lizards as biocontrol agents in mainland and island agroecosystems
Laboratory setup for the experimental assessment of CBB infestation reduction. Each individual anole was paired with a single coffee branch per enclosure tent (a) and all enclosure tents were housed in a semi‐outdoor laboratory with natural sunlight and ambient conditions (b). (c) is a representative photograph of CBB entry holes used to assess coffee berry infestation
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383488&req=5

ece32806-fig-0003: Laboratory setup for the experimental assessment of CBB infestation reduction. Each individual anole was paired with a single coffee branch per enclosure tent (a) and all enclosure tents were housed in a semi‐outdoor laboratory with natural sunlight and ambient conditions (b). (c) is a representative photograph of CBB entry holes used to assess coffee berry infestation
Mentions: The infestation reduction potential of anoles was assessed by housing an individual anole in a 60 × 60 × 60 cm BugDorm© experimental mesh tent containing a single coffee branch (Figure 3a). Experiments were conducted in a semi‐outdoor laboratory with a single mesh screen wall that provided a natural photoperiod and ambient temperatures sufficient for natural feeding activities for the lizards. Branches with bored fruits were selected from the field to ensure that the berries were ripe enough for infestation by the berry borer. All bored berries and insects were removed from each selected branch before the start of the experiment, with twenty fruits and multiple leaves left remaining on each branch. Individual branches were positioned vertically in 35‐mm plastic canisters filled with water (Figure 3b). The top of each canister and branch based was wrapped in Parafilm© plastic to prevent CBB mortality. Each branch was then placed in the center of an inverted plastic bowl for vertical orientation and covered by a strip of bark. Bark was used to increase basking area and allow the anole to move freely from the coffee branch to the base of the enclosure.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Our knowledge of ecological interactions that bolster ecosystem function and productivity has broad applications to the management of agricultural systems. Studies suggest that the presence of generalist predators in agricultural landscapes leads to a decrease in the abundance of herbivorous pests, but our understanding of how these interactions vary across taxa and along gradients of management intensity and eco‐geographic space remains incomplete. In this study, we assessed the functional response and biocontrol potential of a highly ubiquitous insectivore (lizards in the genus Anolis) on the world's most important coffee pest, the coffee berry borer (Hypothalemus hampei). We conducted field surveys and laboratory experiments to examine the impact of land‐use intensification on species richness and abundance of anoles and the capacity of anoles to reduce berry borer infestations in mainland and island coffee systems. Our results show that anoles significantly reduce coffee infestation rates in laboratory settings (Mexico, p = .03, F = 5.13 df = 1, 35; Puerto Rico, p = .014, F = 8.82, df = 1, 10) and are capable of consuming coffee berry borers in high abundance. Additionally, diversified agroecosystems bolster anole abundance, while high‐intensity practices, including the reduction of vegetation complexity and the application of agrochemicals were associated with reduced anole abundance. The results of this study provide supporting evidence of the positive impact of generalist predators on the control of crop pests in agricultural landscapes, and the role of diversified agroecosystems in sustaining both functionally diverse communities and crop production in tropical agroecosystems.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus