, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 538–549 | Cite as

Arthropod Diversity and Community Structure in Relation to Land Use in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

  • Andrew Wilby
  • La Pham Lan
  • Kong Luen Heong
  • Nguyen Phi Dieu Huyen
  • Nguyen Huu Quang
  • Nguyen Viet Minh
  • Matt. B Thomas


Declining biodiversity in agro-ecosystems, caused by intensification of production or expansion of monocultures, is associated with the emergence of agricultural pests. Understanding how land-use and management control crop-associated biodiversity is, therefore, one of the key steps towards the prediction and maintenance of natural pest-control. Here we report on relationships between land-use variables and arthropod community attributes (for example, species diversity, abundance and guild structure) across a diversification gradient in a rice-dominated landscape in the Mekong delta, Vietnam. We show that rice habitats contained the most diverse arthropod communities, compared with other uncultivated and cultivated land-use types. In addition, arthropod species density and Simpson’s diversity in flower, vegetable and fruit habitats was positively related to rice cover in the local landscape. However, across the landscape as a whole, reduction in heterogeneity and the amount of uncultivated cover was associated, generally, with a loss of diversity. Furthermore, arthropod species density in tillering and flowering stages of rice was positively related to crop and vegetation richness, respectively, in the local landscape. Differential effects on feeding guilds were also observed in rice-associated communities with the proportional abundance of predators increasing and the proportional abundance of detritivores decreasing with increased landscape rice cover. Thus, we identify a range of rather complex, sometimes contradictory patterns concerning the impact of rice cover and landscape heterogeneity on arthropod community attributes. Importantly, we conclude that that land-use change associated with expansion of monoculture rice need not automatically impact diversity and functioning of the arthropod community.


community assembly agroecology rice landscape heterogeneity biodiversity pest control 


  1. Altieri M 1999. The ecological role of biodiversity in agroecosystems. Agric Ecosyst and Environ 74:19–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altieri MA 1991. Increasing biodiversity to improve insect pest management in agro-ecosystems. In: Hawksworth D (eds). The biodiversity of microorganisms and invertebrates: its role in sustainable agriculture. Wallingford (UK): CAB International. pp 165–81Google Scholar
  3. Altieri MA, Letourneau DK. 1982. Vegetation management and biological control in agroecosystems. Crop Prot 1:405–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arida GS, Heong KL. 1992. Blower-Vac: a new suction apparatus for sampling rice arthropods. Int Rice Res Newsl 17:30–1Google Scholar
  5. Bambaradeniya CNB, Edirisinghe JP, De Silva DN, Gunatilleke CVS, Ranawana KB, Wijekoon S (2004) Biodiversity associated with an irrigated rice agro-ecosystem in Sri Lanka. Biodivers Conserv 13:1715–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cardinale BJ, Harvey CT, Gross K, Ives AR. 2003. Biodiversity and biocontrol: emergent impacts of a multi-enemy assemblage on pest suppression and crop yield in an agroecosystem. Ecol Lett 6:857–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cohen JE, Schoenly K, Heong KL, Justo H, Arida G et al. 1994. A food-web approach to evaluating the effect of insecticide spraying on insect pest population-dynamics in a Philippine irrigated rice ecosystem. J Appl Ecol 31:747–63Google Scholar
  8. Crawley MJ. 2002. Statistical computing: an introduction to data analysis using S-Plus. Chichester: Wiley. 761 pGoogle Scholar
  9. Daily GC. 1997. Nature’s services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems. Washington (DC): Island Press. 392 pGoogle Scholar
  10. Drechsler M, Settele J. 2001. Predator-prey interactions in rice ecosystems: effects of guild composition, trophic relationships, and land use changes—a model study exemplified for Philippine rice terraces. Ecol Model 137:135–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Elliott NC, Kieckhefer RW, Lee JH, French BW. 1999. Influence of within-field and landscape factors on aphid predator populations in wheat. Landsc Ecol 14:239–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Finke DL, Denno RF. 2004 Predator diversity dampens trophic cascades. Nature 429:407–10PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heong KL, Aquino GB, Barrion AT. 1991. Arthropod community structures of rice ecosystems in the Philipines. Bull Entomol Res 81:407–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Heong KL, Aquino GB, Barrion AT. 1992. Population dynamics of plant- and leafhoppers and their natural enemies in rice ecosystems in the Philippines. Crop Prot 11:371–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jonsen ID, Fahrig L. 1997. Response of generalist and specialist insect herbivores to landscape spatial structure. Landsc Ecol 12:185–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kruess A, Tscharntke T. 1994. Habitat fragmentation, species loss, and biological-control. Science 264:1581–4PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kruess A, Tscharntke T. 2000. Species richness and parasitism in a fragmented landscape: experiments and field studies with insects on Vicia sepium. Oecologia 122:129–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lande R, DeVries P, Walla T. 2000. When species accumulation curves intersect: implications for ranking diversity using small samples. Oikos 89:601–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Loevinsohn ME, Bandong JB, Alviola AA. 1993. Asynchrony in cultivation among Philippine rice farmers—causes and prospects for change. Agric Syst 41:419–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Magurran A. 2004. Measuring biological diversity. Oxford: Blackwell. 256 pGoogle Scholar
  21. Mooney H, Lubchenco J, Dirzo R, Sala O. 1995. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: basic principles. In: Heywood V (eds). Global biodiversity assessment. London: Cambridge University Press. pp 279–323Google Scholar
  22. Reynolds DR, Mukhopadhyay S, Riley JR, Das BK, Nath PS, Mandal SK. 1999. Seasonal variation in the windborne movement of insect pests over northeast India. Int J Pest Manage 45:195–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rutter JF, Mills AP, Rosenberg LJ. 1998. Weather associated with autumn and winter migrations of rice pests and other insects in south-eastern and eastern Asia. Bull Entomol Res 88:189–97Google Scholar
  24. Schläpfer F, Schmid B, Seidl I. 1999. Expert estimates about effects of biodiversity on ecosystem processes and services. Oikos 84:346–352Google Scholar
  25. Schoenly K. 1998. Analysis of invertebrate biodiversity in a Philippine farmer’s irrigated rice field. Environ Entomol 27:11–25Google Scholar
  26. Schoenly K, Cohen J, Heong KL, Arida G, Barrion A, Litsinger JA. 1994. Quantifying the impact of insecticides on food web structure of rice-arthropod populations in a Philippine farmer’s irrigated field. In: Food webs: integration of patterns and dynamics. London: Chapman and HallGoogle Scholar
  27. Schoenly K, Cohen J, Heong KL, Litsinger JA, Aquino GB, Barrion A, Arida G. 1996. Food web dynamics of irrigated rice fields at five elevations in Luzon, Philippines. Bull Entomol Res 86:451–66Google Scholar
  28. Settle WH, Ariawan H, Astruti ET, Cahyana W, Hakim AL, Hindayana D, Lestari AS, Sartanto P. 1996. Managing tropical pests through conservation of generalist natural enemies and alternative prey. Ecology 77:1975–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Simpson E. 1949. Measurement of diversity. Nature 163:688Google Scholar
  30. Southwood TRE, Way MJ. 1970. Ecological background to pest management. In: Rabb RL, Guthrie FE (eds). Concepts of pest management. Raleigh: North Carolina State University. pp 6–29Google Scholar
  31. Sunderland K, Samu F. 2000. Effects of agricultural diversification on the abundance, distribution, and pest control potential of spiders: a review. Entomol Exp Appl 95:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Thies C, Tscharntke T. 1999. Landscape structure and biological control in agroecosystems. Science 285:893–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Thomas MB (1999) Ecological approaches and development of ‘truly integrated’ pest management. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 96:5944–51PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tscharntke T, Kruess A. 1999. Habitat fragmentation and biological control. In: Hawkins B, Cornell HV (eds). Theoretical approaches to biological control. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp 190–205Google Scholar
  35. Van Mele P, Hai TV, Thas O, Van Huis A. 2002. Influence of pesticide information sources on citrus farmers’ knowledge, perceptions and practices in pest management, Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Int J Pest Manage 48:169–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Waage JK. 1991. Biodiversity as a resource for biological control. In: Hawksworth D (eds). The biodiversity of microorganisms and invertebrates: its role in sustainable agriculture. Wallingford UK: CAB International. pp 149–63Google Scholar
  37. Way MJ, Heong KL. 1994. The role of biodiversity in the dynamics and management of insect pests of tropical irrigated rice—a review. Bull Entomol Res 84:567–87Google Scholar
  38. Weibull AC, Östman O, Granqvist A. 2003. Species richness in agroecosystems: the effect of landscape, habitat and farm management. Biodivers Conserv 12:1335–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wilby A, Thomas MB. 2002a. Are the ecological concepts of assembly and function of biodiversity useful frameworks for understanding natural pest control? Agric Forest Entomol 4:237–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wilby A, Thomas MB. 2002b. Natural enemy diversity and natural pest control: patterns of pest emergence with agricultural intensification. Ecol Lett 5:353–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Wilby
    • 1
    • 4
  • La Pham Lan
    • 2
  • Kong Luen Heong
    • 3
  • Nguyen Phi Dieu Huyen
    • 2
  • Nguyen Huu Quang
    • 2
  • Nguyen Viet Minh
    • 2
  • Matt. B Thomas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural SciencesImperial College LondonWyeUK
  2. 2.Institute of Agricultural Sciences of South VietnamHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  3. 3.International Rice Research InstituteMetro ManilaPhilippines
  4. 4.Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, Department of AgricultureThe University of ReadingEarley GateUK

Personalised recommendations