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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.


(a) Variation in anole abundance along a gradient of intensity in Mexico (R2 = .278, p = .006) and (b) Puerto Rico (R2 = .539, p = .059)
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ece32806-fig-0007: (a) Variation in anole abundance along a gradient of intensity in Mexico (R2 = .278, p = .006) and (b) Puerto Rico (R2 = .539, p = .059)

Mentions: Along a gradient of increasing agricultural intensity, both Mexican and Puerto Rican anole abundance decreased significantly (Mexico: R2 = .278, F = 9.48, df = 1, 21, p = .006; Puerto Rico: R2 = .539, F = 6.85, df = 1, 4, p = .059; Figure 7). In Mexico, only 11 of 23 surveyed plots contained anoles, while 6 of the 11 were present at the lowest index values ranging from −1.0 to 0.5. In Puerto Rico, the greatest abundance of anoles was not found at the lowest intensity value, but abundance did show a linear decrease with increasing intensity. This trend appears to be driven by a single plot with zero anoles. The generalized linear mixed model testing the effects of canopy cover, agrochemicals, edge effects, and coffee height on anole abundance in plots in Mexico and Puerto Rico revealed significant effects of coffee height (positive) (p = .015, Z = −2.43; Table 2) and agrochemical application (negative) (p < .05, Z = −3.42; Table 2) on abundance in Mexico and significant effects of canopy cover (positive) (p = .005, Z = 2.77; Table 2) on abundance in Puerto Rico. In both regions, the application of agrochemicals had a deleterious effect on anole abundance (Table 3), but lack of necessary replication of pesticide plots in Puerto Rico (N = 1) prevented this parameter from being used in the model.


Anolis lizards as biocontrol agents in mainland and island agroecosystems
(a) Variation in anole abundance along a gradient of intensity in Mexico (R2 = .278, p = .006) and (b) Puerto Rico (R2 = .539, p = .059)
© Copyright Policy - creativeCommonsBy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383488&req=5

ece32806-fig-0007: (a) Variation in anole abundance along a gradient of intensity in Mexico (R2 = .278, p = .006) and (b) Puerto Rico (R2 = .539, p = .059)
Mentions: Along a gradient of increasing agricultural intensity, both Mexican and Puerto Rican anole abundance decreased significantly (Mexico: R2 = .278, F = 9.48, df = 1, 21, p = .006; Puerto Rico: R2 = .539, F = 6.85, df = 1, 4, p = .059; Figure 7). In Mexico, only 11 of 23 surveyed plots contained anoles, while 6 of the 11 were present at the lowest index values ranging from −1.0 to 0.5. In Puerto Rico, the greatest abundance of anoles was not found at the lowest intensity value, but abundance did show a linear decrease with increasing intensity. This trend appears to be driven by a single plot with zero anoles. The generalized linear mixed model testing the effects of canopy cover, agrochemicals, edge effects, and coffee height on anole abundance in plots in Mexico and Puerto Rico revealed significant effects of coffee height (positive) (p = .015, Z = −2.43; Table 2) and agrochemical application (negative) (p < .05, Z = −3.42; Table 2) on abundance in Mexico and significant effects of canopy cover (positive) (p = .005, Z = 2.77; Table 2) on abundance in Puerto Rico. In both regions, the application of agrochemicals had a deleterious effect on anole abundance (Table 3), but lack of necessary replication of pesticide plots in Puerto Rico (N = 1) prevented this parameter from being used in the model.

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&#8208;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&#8208;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&nbsp;=&nbsp;.03, F&nbsp;=&nbsp;5.13 df&nbsp;=&nbsp;1, 35; Puerto Rico, p&nbsp;=&nbsp;.014, F&nbsp;=&nbsp;8.82, df&nbsp;=&nbsp;1, 10) and are capable of consuming coffee berry borers in high abundance. Additionally, diversified agroecosystems bolster anole abundance, while high&#8208;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.