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Open AccessArticle

Temporal Resource Continuity Increases Predator Abundance in a Metapopulation Model: Insights for Conservation and Biocontrol

1
Department of Entomology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
2
Department of Integrative Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53726, USA
3
Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53726, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(12), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120479
Received: 18 October 2020 / Revised: 24 November 2020 / Accepted: 24 November 2020 / Published: 28 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Landscape Ecology)
The amount of habitat in a landscape is an important metric for evaluating the effects of land cover on biodiversity, yet it fails to capture complex temporal dimensions of resource availability that could be consequential for species population dynamics. Here, we use a spatially-explicit predator–prey metapopulation model to test the effect of different spatiotemporal resource patterns on insect predators and their prey. We examined population responses in model landscapes that varied in both the amount and temporal variability of basal vegetation. Further, we examined cases where prey comprised either a single generalist species or two specialist species that use different resources available either early or late in the growing season. We found that predators and generalist prey benefitted from lower temporal variance of basal resources, which increased landscape-scale abundances. However, increasing the amount of basal resources also increased the variability of generalist prey populations. Specialist prey, on the other hand, did not benefit from less temporally variable basal resources, as they were restricted by habitat type, while also suffering greater predation. Predators achieved greater prey suppression in landscapes with less temporally variable resources, but the overall effects on prey abundance depended on prey habitat specialization. Our simulations demonstrate the joint importance of both the amount and temporal variability of resources for understanding how landscape heterogeneity influences biodiversity and ecosystem services such as the biological control of agricultural pests. View Full-Text
Keywords: predator–prey interactions; landscape ecology; agroecosystems; ecosystem services; biological control; resource complementation predator–prey interactions; landscape ecology; agroecosystems; ecosystem services; biological control; resource complementation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Spiesman, B.; Iuliano, B.; Gratton, C. Temporal Resource Continuity Increases Predator Abundance in a Metapopulation Model: Insights for Conservation and Biocontrol. Land 2020, 9, 479. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120479

AMA Style

Spiesman B, Iuliano B, Gratton C. Temporal Resource Continuity Increases Predator Abundance in a Metapopulation Model: Insights for Conservation and Biocontrol. Land. 2020; 9(12):479. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120479

Chicago/Turabian Style

Spiesman, Brian; Iuliano, Benjamin; Gratton, Claudio. 2020. "Temporal Resource Continuity Increases Predator Abundance in a Metapopulation Model: Insights for Conservation and Biocontrol" Land 9, no. 12: 479. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9120479

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