A consistent positive association between landscape simplification and insecticide use across the Midwestern US from 1997 through 2012

During 2007, counties across the Midwestern US with relatively high levels of landscape simplification (i.e., widespread replacement of seminatural habitats with cultivated crops) had relatively high crop-pest abundances which, in turn, were associated with relatively high insecticide application. These results suggested a positive relationship between landscape simplification and insecticide use, mediated by landscape effects on crop pests or their natural enemies. A follow-up study, in the same region but using different statistical methods, explored the relationship between landscape simplification and insecticide use between 1987 and 2007, and concluded that the relationship varied substantially in sign and strength across years. Here, we explore this relationship from 1997 through 2012, using a single dataset and two different analytical approaches.

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