Site: Kellogg Biological Station LTER

A prairie strip growing in wheat at the KBS LTER Main Cropping Systems Experiment.
Credit: Kurt Stepnitz

Simplification of agricultural landscapes reduces abundance of predatory insects, at substantial cost to farmers and society. Diverse landscapes harbor generalist predators such as ladybird beetles, which control crop pests such as soybean aphids, limiting the need for insecticide use. Given global declines in insect abundance, increasing the diversity of habitats and their spatial arrangement across landscapes could enhance biodiversity and provide biocontrol services worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year, while reducing the need for insecticides.