Food web dynamics of irrigated rice fields at five elevations in Luzon, Philippines uri icon

abstract

  • The above-water food webs of arthropod communities in irrigated rice fields on Luzon Island, Philippines, were studied over the growing season at five sites (Los Banos, Cabanatuan, Bayombong, Kiangan, Banaue) ranging in elevation from 22 m to 1524 m. Arthropod populations were vacuum-sampled at roughly weekly intervals from the date after seedlings were transplanted to flowering at each site. Site- and time-specific webs were constructed from a 687-taxa cumulative Philippines web and time-series of species present. Taxonomic composition, food web structure, and arthropod phenology were broadly similar across different sites. Arthropod abundance was inversely associated with altitude across the Ave sites, but numbers of taxa and links and six food web statistics showed no obvious increasing or decreasing trend with altitude. The rise of taxa, links and mean food chain length over the growing season at each site reflected an increase in plant size with age and, at some sites, an orderly accumulation of newly arriving herbivore, predator, parasitoid and omnivore species. At each site, herbivores built up faster than predators and parasitoids, and predators arrived faster than parasitoids; the difference between the latest and earliest sampling dates of first arrivals, averaged over the Ave sites, was 38, 63 and 73 days for herbivores, predators and parasitoids, respectively. Site-to-site consistencies in food web properties and first arrivals suggest that such patterns may be influenced more by crop age than by geography or altitude. Sampled predator, parasitoid and omnivore taxa potentially encountered only a subset of their lifetime prey and predator species at any particular time in the rice field. Prey lists cumulated over time may underestimate the temporal specificity of predation by potential biological control agents. Research opportunities linking rice food webs and integrated pest management with East Indies biogeography are proposed.

publication date

  • 1996
  • 1996
  • 1996