From regional to global scales, anthropogenic environmental change is causing biodiversity loss and reducing ecosystem functionality. Previous studies have investigated the relationship between plant diversity and functional insect communities in temperate and also in tropical grasslands and forests. However, few studies have explored these dynamics in subtropical forests. Here, cavity-nesting Hymenoptera and associated parasitoids were collected across a controlled tree diversity experiment in subtropical China to test how predatory wasps, bees and parasitoids respond to tree species richness. Abundance and species richness of predatory wasps and parasitoids were positively correlated with tree species richness, while bee abundance and bee species richness were unrelated to tree species richness. Our results indicate that tree species richness increases the abundance and species richness of important communities such as predators and parasitoids. Moreover, the results highlight the importance of subtropical forests in maintaining abundance and species richness of key functional insect groups.
Pengfei Guo, Mingqiang Wang, Michael Orr, Yi Li, Jingting Chen, Qingsong Zhou, Michael Staab, Felix Fornoff, Guohua Chen, Naili Zhang, Alexandra-Maria Klein, and Chaodong Zhu. 2021. Tree diversity promotes predatory wasps and parasitoids but not pollinator bees in a subtropical experimental forest. Basic and Applied Ecology. 53:134-142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2021.03.007.