Response of the rice stem borer Chilo suppressalis (Walker) and its parasitoid assemblage to landscape composition

Yulin Zhu, Junhui Chen, Yi Zou, Xiaolong Huang, Ting Jiang, Kris A.G. Wyckhuys, Wopke van der Werf, Haijun Xiao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The rice stem borer (RSB), Chilo suppressalis (Walker), is an economically important pest of rice in subtropical Asia. Up till present, it remains unknown how pest abundance and parasitoid-mediated biological control are modulated by landscape composition. In this study, 20 rice fields with varying proportion of non-crop habitat in (2000 m radius) landscape sectors were selected in China's Jiangxi province. RSB infestation levels were highest in agriculture-dominated landscapes. Meanwhile, parasitism rate increased with pest pressure but was not related to landscape-level non-crop habitat cover. Landscape-level responses of parasitoids were species-specific and likely modulated by functional traits. The specialist parasitoid Cotesia chilonis (Munakata) responded negatively to non-crop habitat, while positive responses were recorded for the generalists Eriborus sinicus (Holmgren) and Microgaster russata (Haliday). Our work unveils the occurrence of a bottom-up cascade in which spatiotemporal rice cropping patterns shape pest pressure and parasitism dynamics, with more diverse landscapes experiencing lower RSB infestation levels. Non-crop habitats within the landscape matrix equally retained parasitoid species with varying feeding modes and attack strategies. Hence, despite its (globally) inconsistent impacts on biological control, agricultural landscape diversification can directly benefit pest suppression and thus remains a valuable component of the ecological intensification toolbox.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108259
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023


  • Agricultural landscape
  • Agroecology
  • Biological pest control
  • Functional traits
  • Landscape ecology
  • Non-crop habitats
  • Parasitoids
  • Pest
  • Trophic ecology


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