Honěk, A., Dixon, A.F.G., Soares, A.O., Skuhrovec, J. & Martinkova, Z. (2017) Spatial and temporal changes in the abundance and composition of ladybird (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) communities.Current Opinion in Insect Science, 20, 61-67. DOI:10.1016/j.cois.2017.04.001 (IF2017 4,171; Q1 Biology)
Because of their services to agriculture most ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are intensively studied predators of mainly phytophagous pests. The study of the long-term variation in the composition of their communities was stimulated by recent dramatic changes in the abundance of some species. We review and evaluate possible effects of the main causes cited in the literature. Agricultural and habitat changes (particularly urbanization) affect coccinellid abundance, both negatively and positively. In the temperate zone dominant species occur most frequently associated with abundant prey populations on crops, weeds and planted stands of trees resulting from human activity. Invasive non-native species of coccinellids may endanger native species through intraguild predation or competition for resources, but their supposed serious negative effects on native species can differ considerably. Climatic change may influence coccinellid species in several ways, including indirect effects through lower trophic levels and desynchronisation of the phenologies of host plants, prey and coccinellid populations. In the near future we do not expect climate warming to have important effects on ladybird diversity globally, but local changes in the composition of coccinellid communities and abundance of particular species could occur.