Helena Hanson. Foto.

Helena Hanson


Helena Hanson. Foto.

Landscape configuration affects herbivore–parasitoid communities in oilseed rape


  • Josef S. Berger
  • Klaus Birkhofer
  • Helena I. Hanson
  • Katarina Hedlund

Summary, in English

It is crucial to consider the effects of large-scale drivers on species presences and ecological interactions to understand what structures communities. In our study, we investigated how the species composition and the potential interaction networks of herbivore and parasitoid communities in oilseed rape fields are affected by agricultural landscape characteristics. Insect communities of 26 winter oilseed rape fields in southern Sweden were captured in water traps over a continuous time span of 30 ± 2 days. In total, 31% of the variation in the composition of herbivore host communities was explained by a combination of the surrounding oilseed rape area in the study year and the previous year and distance to the nearest forest. The oilseed rape area in the study year and distance to forest also explained 14% of the variation in the composition of parasitoid communities. Distance to the nearest forest together with the area of oilseed rape in the previous year explained 45% of the variation in asymmetry of interaction webs. These results indicate that several measures of landscape configuration are important both for the composition of host and parasitoid communities and also for the structure of interaction networks. Our results support the view that it is an appropriate strategy to cultivate oilseed rape in landscapes that are far away from forests, in order to minimize recolonization by pest species and at the same time to attract parasitoid species from the open landscape.


  • Ecology
  • Agricultural Science
  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use


  • Community composition
  • Herbivore community
  • Landscape configuration
  • Oilseed rape
  • Parasitoid community
  • Web asymmetry




  • Soil Ecology


  • ISSN: 1612-4758