Landscape changes have greater effects than climate changes on six insect pests in China.
In recent years, global changes are the major causes of frequent, widespread outbreaks of pests in mosaic landscapes, which have received substantial attention worldwide. We collected data on global changes (landscape and climate) and economic damage caused by six main insect pests during 1951–2010 in China. Landscape changes had significant effects on all six insect pests. Pest damage increased significantly with increasing arable land area in agricultural landscapes. However, climate changes had no effect on damage caused by pests, except for the rice leaf roller (Cnaphalocrocis medinalis Guenee) and armyworm (Mythimna separate (Walker)), which caused less damage to crops with increasing mean temperature. Our results indicate that there is slight evidence of possible offset effects of climate changes on the increasing damage from these two agricultural pests. Landscape changes have caused serious outbreaks of several species, which suggests the possibility of the use of landscape design for the control of pest populations through habitat rearrangement. Landscape manipulation may be used as a green method to achieve sustainable pest management with minimal use of insecticides and herbicides.