Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 695–706 | Cite as

Landscape-level effects on cynipid component communities of “orphaned” native shrubs

  • Chris Looney
  • Sanford D. Eigenbrode


Native plants that persist in agricultural landscapes can be important for conserving and re-connecting fragmented biological communities, particularly to arthropods that live in and on them. However, their value as habitat may depend upon landscape context, which can differently impact species among trophic levels. We examined the communities of gall-inducing cynipid wasps and their parasitoids associated with a native wild rose, Rosa woodsii, in the Palouse region of southeastern Washington State and adjacent Idaho, to determine how this arthropod community varies with the landscape context of the host plant. Nine species of gall wasps (Diplolepis spp.), 11 species of parasitoids, and the inquiline cynipid, Periclistus sp. were sampled from R. woodsii shrubs throughout the Palouse region. We examined whether any gall-inducing cynipids were absent from R. woodsii in particular landscape contexts. We tested the relationship between community structure and landscape variables including landscape diversity and the proportion of prairie, agriculture, introduced grasslands, and built environments. All gall-inducer species occurred in every landscape context, although some species were more common on roses within prairie remnants. Gall-inducer and parasitoid species richness was positively correlated with the proportion of prairie in the landscape at radii from 100 to 1,500 m, with the scale of this effect differing between the two sample years. Landscape diversity had little or no effect on species richness. These results suggest that although R. woodsii supports diverse arthropod communities throughout a fragmented landscape, its greatest conservation potential will be realized if prairie remnants are conserved as well.


Diplolepis Palouse prairie Landscape ecology 



We are indebted to many private landowners and Washington State University for access to prairie remnants during this study. Funding was provided by a National Science Foundation-REU award no. 0097833, National Science Foundation-IGERT award no. 0114304, and the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences of the University of Idaho. We thank Ben Kirsch and Ben Caldwell for their excellent field assistance during this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington State Department of AgricultureWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological SciencesUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA

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