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IOBC-WPRS Bulletin Vol. 122, 2017


IOBC-WPRS Bulletin Vol. 122, 2017

Working Group "Landscape Management for Functional Biodiversity"
Proceedings of the 7th meeting at Dundee (Scotland, UK), March 29-31, 2017
Edited by Graham Begg, Felix Bianchi, Nick Birch, Bärbel Gerowitt, John Holland, Daniela Lupi, Camilla Moonen, Mark Ramsden, Paul van Rijn
ISBN 978-92-9067-307-1 [VII + 168 pp]


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How economic thresholds could improve the uptake of conservation biological control in arable landscape – an industry perspective
Mark Ramsden, Steve Ellis

Abstract: The management of agricultural landscapes to better support the natural enemies of crops pests is an underused component of integrated pest management (IPM). Natural enemies can slow the rate of pest population growth and help limit economic damage to crops. However, a lack of floral resources, w inter habitat, additional alternative prey, and refuges from harmful crop management at field and landscape scales can reduce their impact. Providing these additional resources will enable natural enemies to make a more reliable and consistent contribution to pest control. To achieve this, farmers need to have confidence in the benefits of supporting natural enemies, and understand how targeted provision of additional resources will help to develop a more robust IPM programmes. This paper summarises evidence of the contribution of natural enemies to the control of key invertebrate arable crop pests, and discusses the additional resources they require. We consider how the impact of natural enemies can be incorporated into arable crop management through greater use of economic thresholds.


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Ecological Focus Areas and beneficial insect (Coleoptera: Carabidae) conservation for pest control: habitat suitability and farm specific factors
Douglas J. Warner, John Tzilivakis, Andrew Green & Kathleen A. Lewis

Abstract: Ecological Focus Areas (EFAs) were introduced as a component of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 'greening' measures. Different options are available depending on those activated by individual Member States, but across Europe as a whole, they range from cover crops and agroforestry, to the protection and enhancement of boundary features. Eligible farms must have a minimum arable area (including fallow land, temporary grassland and crop land) of 15 ha, for which EFAs need to comprise 5% of this area. The overall environmental benefits delivered by a given EFA option will depend on farm specific factors, and will vary between farms and Member States. In order to help account for this variability, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) commissioned the development of a software tool, the EFA calculator, to assist land managers in the selection of EFA elements appropriate to their farm, in order to optimise ecosystem services, biodiversity and farm management. A simple bespoke scoring system underpins the calculator but enables the distillation of complex and data-intensive parameters into a readily interpretable and user friendly format. Although multiple ecosystem services are accounted for by the tool, this paper will focus on pest control, specifically the impact of EFAs on ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and their potential role as beneficial insects. Crop cover, frequency of cultivation, field size and the quality and connectedness of field boundaries are key factors taken into account.


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Simultaneous use of winter cress (Brassicaceae) in trap cropping, conservation biological control, and pollinator conservation
Francesco R. Badenes-Pérez, Beatriz Parrado Márquez, Eduard Petitpierre

Abstract: Winter cress, Barbarea vulgaris R. Br. (Brassicaceae), has been proposed as trap crops for the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae). In bloom, B. vulgaris could also be used to attract beneficial insects. In this study we tested the attractiveness of flowering B. vulgaris to P. xylostella and to two of its parasitoids, Diadegma insulare Cresson (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) and Diadromus collaris Gravenhorst (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). We also tested whether the presence of flowering B. vulgaris planted in the field border could affect densities of insect pests and beneficial coccinellids in adjacent cauliflower plants. Flowering B. vulgaris did not change the densities of insect pests found in adjacent cauliflower, except for Eurydema ornata L. (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Coccinellids were more abundant on flowering B. vulgaris than on cauliflower plants. Chrysomelids were also more abundant on flowering B. vulgaris than on cauliflower plants, while hemipteran and lepidopteran pests were more abundant on cauliflower than on B. vulgaris plants. In plots with flowering B. vulgaris, P. xylostella pupae suffered 1.7 and 4.0 times more parasitism by D. insulare and D. collaris, respectively, than in plots without flowering B. vulgaris. Flowering reduced the attractiveness of B. vulgaris to P. xylostella, making it lose its effectiveness as a trap crop. Flowering B. vulgaris plants were visited by hoverflies, such as Sphaerophoria scripta L. (Diptera: Syrphidae), by pollen-feeding beettles, such as Psilothrix viridicoerulea Geoffroy (Coleoptera: Melyridae), and by mining bees of the genus Andrena (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Being biennial, B. vulgaris could be used as a trap crop for P. xylostella the first year, and to lower the populations of E. ornata, increase parasitism of P. xylostella, and attract pollinators when it flowers the second year.


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Banker plants promote functional biodiversity in cabbage
Sebastian Laurenz, Rainer Meyhöfer

Abstract: Natural enemies of the cabbage whitefly Aleyrodes proletella do currently not regulate whitefly populations sufficiently. Biological control methods in field crops have often been neglected, although offering promising tools to increase the abundance and diversity of natural enemies. For instance, the release and promotion of natural enemies with banker plants is one way to increase functional biodiversity and biological control services in field crops. This field study investigated the following two banker plant systems against A. proletella: (1) the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum on pumpkin and (2) the honeysuckle whitefly A. lonicerae on European columbine. Both systems were inoculated with the parasitoid Encarsia tricolor. We evaluated the effect of the banker plant systems on A. proletella parasitism rates as well as the abundances of adult E. tricolor and predators on neighbouring Brussels sprouts plants. Both, average parasitism rates and adult E. tricolor increased by at least 50% by either banker plant systems. Furthermore, the abundance of hoverfly larvae was 63% higher in the treatment with pumpkin as banker plant compared to the control, whereas 11-12% fewer spiders were found in both treatments with banker plants. In conclusion, especially the banker plant system with T. vaporariorum and E. tricolor on pumpkin promoted functional biodiversity on cabbage plants and showed promising potential as banker plant system in cabbage crops.


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Impact of agro-ecological infrastructures on the control of insect pests in apple orchards
Pierre Franck, Luan Alberto Odorizzi, Marlice Botelho Costa, Claire Lavigne, Odair Aparecido Fernandes, Armin Bischoff

Abstract: The rosy apple aphid, Dysaphis plantaginea, and the codling moth, Cydia pomonella, are major insect pests in apple orchards causing high economic losses. A conservation biological control approach using plant species that provide resources for natural enemies may improve natural regulation and reduce insecticide use. In this study, we compared the influence of wildflower strips, grass strips and spontaneous vegetation on the biological control of aphids and moths by their natural enemies (parasitoids, hoverflies, and ladybirds) in three untreated apple orchards in 2014 and 2015. The sown wildflower strip mixture was successful in increasing floral resource provisioning in both years. Among the major natural enemy groups observed in the margin strips only hoverflies responded positively to the increase of floral resources. Within the orchards, the number of aphid colonies per tree was higher close to the margins, but the number of codling moth larvae smaller. The number of natural enemies observed in aphid colonies was largely driven by aphid number. None of the natural enemy groups observed in D. plantaginae colonies responded to the adjacent strip treatments. This dynamic response may explain the reduction in aphid numbers close to wildflower strips without finding higher overall natural enemy numbers. Similarly, codling moth parasitism was higher close to the margins. These results suggest a positive influence of floral resource provisioning by wildflower strips on aphid predation and codling moth parasitism but they also demonstrate that effect size may be small if species-rich spontaneous vegetation does already occur in margins or inside orchards.


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Functional agrobiodiversity – a novel approach to optimize pest control in fruit production
Lene Sigsgaard, Stine K. Jacobsen

Abstract: Fruit growers suffer great economic losses each year due to pest damage. The demand for organic produce is increasing along with the interest from growers to develop sustainable and more resilient production systems and over 20% of the apple production in Denmark is now organic. Available pest management options are limited and prevention is important for resilience. In the project PROTECFRUIT we test the use of functional agrobiodiversity, by promoting the abundance and diversity of natural enemies in ecological infrastructures using perennial, wild flower strips in organic orchards. Rosy apple aphid, Dysaphis plantaginea, infestation and damage, and predator abundance and diversity were assessed in organic orchards with flower strips and compared to organic orchards without flower strips. In orchards with flower strips these parameters were also assessed as a function of distance to flower strip. The methodology includes visual observations, beating samples and sentinel prey to estimate predation activity. Field trials were conducted in 2016 and will be repeated again in 2017. Preliminary results show that aphid infestation and fruit damage w ere less in orchards with flower strips than in control orchards.


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Landscape scale and local crop protection intensity affect the abundance of the codling moth and its predation and parasitism in apple orchards
C. Lavigne, M. Maalouly, L. Monteiro, B. Ricci, J. F. Toubon, J. C. Bouvier, J. Olivares, S. Maugin, C. Thomas, P. Franck

Abstract: One important feature that may explain variation in pest abundance and pest biocontrol in crops is the land-use intensity in the landscapes. We report results from three studies in which we tried to address this question by assessing whether amount of semi-natural habitat and/or pesticide use at both local and landscape scales affected the abundance of codling moth, its parasitism and predation of sentinel eggs in commercial apple orchards of south-eastern France. Our results indicate that in this landscape there is indeed a significant effect of the pesticide use intensity at both the local and the landscape scales on these variables.


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Is higher landscape heterogeneity associated with lower variation of abundances of pests and natural enemies?
Julie-Éléonore Maisonhaute, Geneviève Labrie, Eric Lucas

Abstract: While the influence of landscape heterogeneity on responses of both crop pest and natural enemy populations have been extensively studied, impacts on the variation of these responses are not. In this study, we aimed to determine how landscape heterogeneity affects the variation of densities of the soybean aphid and of the guild of natural enemies, and whether temporal variations are observed. We hypothesized that 1) landscape heterogeneity is associated with lower variation of densities of pests and natural enemies; and 2) the effect is stronger during the period of highest aphid population level. Respectively 29 and 31 soybean fields were weekly sampled in 2011 and 2012 in Quebec (Canada). For each field, a coefficient of variation was calculated regarding the density of the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), of the entire guild of natural enemies, and of the different sub-guilds (predators, parasitoids, entomopathogens) during 1) the population peak of the soybean aphid (August 15-20), and 2) two weeks before (August 1-6). Landscape heterogeneity indices were calculated at a scale of 1.5 km radius around the fields: Crop richness, Crop diversity, Margin density, Landscape patchiness, and Proportion of woodlands. Overall, when considering aphids, predators, pathogens or the entire guild, results are in accordance with our 1st hypothesis: less variation in densities observed in heterogeneous landscapes. Finally, in accordance with our 2nd hypothesis, landscape heterogeneity has a stronger effect on the variation of natural enemy densities (but not on aphid density) during the population peak of the soybean aphid.


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Effect of landscape diversity on biocontrol of the millet head miner, Heliocheilus albipunctella (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), in Senegal
Ibrahiam Thiaw, Valérie Soti, François-Régis Goebel, Ahmadou Sow, Thierry Brévault, Mouhamadou Diakhate

Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of landscape complexity on biological control of the millet head miner Heliocheilus albipunctella de Joannis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) a key millet pest in West Africa. Field observations were carried out in 2013 and 2014, in a 20 × 20 km area around Dangalma village (14°43’42’’N, 16°33’98’’E), in the Diourbel region located in the main millet-producing basin in Senegal. Biocontrol was evaluated by excluding natural enemies to infested millet heads. Biocontrol Services Index (BSI) was calculated on a set of 45 millet fields separated by a distance of 2 km from each other. Landscape complexity around each field was assessed yearly using five landscape metrics, calculated from two land cover maps derived from Pleiades satellite images. To study the effect of landscape attributes on BSI values, a generalized linear model was performed at 9 different spatial scales (from 0.250 to 2.250 km around fields). The best statistical model was used to identify the environmental key variables enhancing biological control of the millet head miner (MHM). We found that BSI values increased with landscape diversity, measured as Shannon's Diversity Index (SHDI). Moreover, landscapes dominated by millet fields provided less regulation of MHM than landscapes dominated by semi-natural vegetation. Landscape diversity and composition at a 1750 m around sampling sites explained the greatest proportion of the variation of biological control of the millet head miner. This study indicates that semi-natural vegetation, here mainly trees, have to be conserved to enhance biocontrol of H. albipunctella.


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Plants on karst that attract predatory insects
Kristijan Franin, Gabrijela Kuštera, Božena Barić

Abstract: One of the main problems in vineyards and olive orchards on karst is very scarce source of plants useful for conservation biological control which can survive high temperatures and lack of water during the summer months. The aim of this research was to choose plants as potential elements of ecological infrastructure which could play important role in attracting of beneficial insects in particular predators. This research was conducted on the island of Pašman (Zadar County – Croatia) from 2015 to 2016. The following plants were selected; Arbutus unedo L., Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter, Dorycnium hirsutum (L.) Ser, Helichrysum italicum (Roth) G. Don, Salvia officinalis L., Spartium junceum L., Origanum vulgare L. Between predator species Deraeocoris scach Fabricius, Deraeocoris ruber L., Geocoris erytrocephalus Lepeletier & Serville, Scymnus spp. and Rhynocoris rubricus Germar were found.


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Structure of the epigeic beetle community in a suburban hilly area in Northern Italy
Daniela Lupi, Anna Rocco, Sara Savoldelli, Augusto Loni

Abstract: The research has been developed in a hilly area in Northern Italy characterized by different semi-natural habitats. The proximity to crowded and industrialized cities causes it to be vulnerable. We studied the community structure of beetle pedofauna from April to September from 2010 to 2012 in two localities, where five and two sites were selected, representing both woodland and meadow. Two sampling plots, each with five pitfall traps that were replaced fortnightly were located at each site. A total of 7,672 specimens belonging to 14 families were obtained. Staphylinidae appeared to be the richest family covering more than 77% of total captures, followed by Carabidae, Silphidae and Curculionidae. These four families pooled together covered more than 98% of all the specimens collected. The analysis of the variability distribution estimated the components of variations among the considered spatial scales, showed a biodiversity locally high as the plot size well reflected the homogeneity of the structure of the chosen habitats. The limited variability suggested that community composition changed gradually, reflecting a relative homogeneus area without large differences within the habitats of the research areas.


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The community composition of ladybirds (Coccinellidae) occurring in three vineyards in Tuscany (Italy)
Roberto Canovai, Augusto Loni, Andrea Lucchi

Abstract: The ladybird communities were investigated in three differently managed vineyards of the province of Pisa (Tuscany, Italy), two of which were organic. A total of 4,057 specimens were captured in 2012 and 866 in 2013, all belonging to the subfamilies of Scymninae, Coccinellinae, Coccidulinae and Chilocorinae. The ladybird community was analysed on the base of the simple species composition as well as of the trophic guild to whom they belonged. Scymninae and Coccinellinae were the most represented subfamilies. Aphidophagous components of the community were the highest everywhere, followed by the species feeding on coccids, fungi and mites. The analysis based on the community functional biodiversity was better in discriminating different vineyards then the one based on species diversity. The two organic vineyards showed a higher potentiality to host a high number of species and a complex community structure. Coccid predators were predominant in the conventional vineyard.


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The genus Paragus Latreille (Diptera Syrphidae), a useful bioindicator in the vineyards
Augusto Loni, Giovanni Burgio, Daniele Sommaggio, Andrea Lucchi

Abstract: We studied for two consecutive years the community structure of the Syrphid populations in three vineyards, observing the suitability of this family in discriminating the different sites. We also focused our attention on the community structure of the species belonging to the genus Paragus Latreille, which is the dominant taxon in the Hoverflies’ population. The community structure of the Paragus species complex was able to discriminate the different environmental situations, while all the Syrphid species complex did not it. Many species of Syrphids show a high flight ability, which allow them to cover vast areas, rapidly colonizing or recolonizing stressed habitats from surrounding, as well as from long distances and this probably explain the homogeneity among the population occurring in the three different vineyards. As far as we know, the species of the genus Paragus are associated to aphid populations living on roots and on wood plants, so that they are more strictly linked to structural vegetal components of the habitat.


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Overwintering arthropod assemblages across and within habitats of a Swiss agricultural landscape
Louis Sutter, Michael Amato, Philippe Jeanneret, Matthias Albrecht

Abstract: Semi-natural habitats (SNHs) are known to support high levels of biodiversity within agricultural ecosystems. Management of SNHs in agricultural landscapes should seek to increase arthropod diversity and optimize ecosystem functioning and services, such as natural pest control through high predator abundances. Emergence traps were used to sample overwintering arthropods in Swiss lowlands in order to determine which habitat types are important for promoting high diversity and abundance of overwintering arthropods. Woody habitats proved to be valuable in supporting high predator abundance, herbaceous habitats supported lower predator and higher herbivore abundances, while crops supported the lowest density of overwintering arthropods. Woody habitats should be promoted in agroecosystems in an effort to maximize arthropod diversity and predator abundance. By supporting high abundance of predators they can fulfil multiple objectives. It is therefore recommended that existing hedgerows are conserved and their value enhanced by targeted planting of new hedgerows to connect existing overwintering habitats.


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The abundance of overwintered predatory arthropods in agricultural landscape elements
Kaia Treier, Gabriella Kovács, Riina Kaasik, Maarja Männiste, Eve Veromann

Abstract: Predatory arthropods are important natural enemies that can play a major role in reducing pest populations. Various types of landscape elements in the agricultural landscape offer hibernation sites for predatory arthropods, and thus contribute to the occurrence of predatory arthropods in agroecosystems, which in turn enhances biological control.
The abundance of different overwintered predatory arthropod groups was measured and compared in different agricultural landscape elements adjacent to arable fields, to determine whether these groups have any overwintering site preferences. Five different landscape elements were studied in five one-km radius landscape circles. Each circle contained all five types of landscape elements. Emerging ground dwelling arthropods were sampled with pitfall traps installed inside emergence traps. Four major predatory arthropod groups were found: ground beetles (Carabidae), rove beetles (Staphylinidae), spiders (Araneae) and harvestmen (Opiliones).
According to the results, landscape element types influenced the abundance of overwintered predatory arthropods. The abundance of predatory arthropods was significantly higher in linear grassy field margins and their abundance was also high in woody linear elements. Significantly fewer arthropods emerged from semi-natural grasslands, woodland edges and cover crop edges, than from grassy field margins.


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Effects of organic farming at different spatial scales on natural enemies of crop pests and pest predation levels
Stéphanie Aviron, Alexandre Monteiro, Jacques Baudry, El Aziz Djoudi, Julien Pétillon, Manuel Plantegenest, Camille Puech

Abstract: Biological control of pests by their natural enemies is considered a key process to reduce pesticide use in modern agricultural systems. Diversity of natural enemies and pest control levels have been shown to be enhanced in organic farming systems and in landscapes with high amount of semi-natural habitats, but the role of organic farming at the landscape scale remains little explored, especially on pest control levels. We investigated the effects of organic farming at the field and landscape scales on the diversity of predatory arthropods and on pest predation levels in 20 pairs of cereal crops located in bocage landscapes with varying proportion of area covered by organic farming in western France. Our results confirmed a strong effect of farming system at the field scale on arthropod diversity but not on pest predation levels. Arthropod diversity and pest predation were little or not influenced by organic farming at the landscape scale, but in some cases, by land-use diversity, grassland area and hedgerow densities. Our results suggest that the promotion of biological control in bocage landscapes might rely on both the local adoption of organic practices and on the maintenance of hedgerow habitats.


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Identifying a suitable annual floral mixture and its relative attractiveness to pollinators in Central Spain
Celeste Azpiazu, Ignacio Morales, Ángeles Adán, Pilar Medina, Alberto Fereres, Germán Canomanuel & Elisa Viñuela

Abstract: Wildflower strips in crop margins can contribute to the conservation and enhance of pollinators in the crop area. We have tested during 2 years in Central Spain, a mixture of several wild species of different botanical families well adapted to the area. By assessing floral coverage, precocity and duration of bloom and pollinator visits, we conclude that Coriandrum sativum, Diplotaxis virgata, Borago officinalis and Calendula officinalis are the best candidates for a seed mixture for the study area.


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The importance of the qualitative composition of floral margins to the maintenance of rich communities of bees
M. Pérez-Marcos, F. J. Ortiz-Sánchez, E. López-Gallego, M. J. Ramírez-Soria, J. A. Sanchez

Abstract: The transformation of natural environments due to the intensification of agriculture has had negative effects on the communities of bees, with negative side-effects on pollination, in both farmed and natural systems. The addition of herbaceous plant edges to crop fields may improve the abundance and diversity of pollinators. The present study emphasises the importance of the right choice of plant species in floral margins to improve the abundance and diversity of bees.


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Suzanne Burgess, Paul Evans

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Aphid infestations and biocontrol in cereal crops in Scotland: effects of winter cropping across three regions
Alison J. Karley, Carolyn Mitchell, Cathy Hawes, Pietro P. M. Iannetta, Gillian Banks, Linda Ford, Mark Young, Nora Quesada and Graham Begg

Abstract: A study was conducted to determine whether i) winter cereals can ‘escape’ aphid pest infestations due to more advanced crop maturity and ii) whether insect pests on winter cereals can escape biocontrol compared to spring cereals. Summer dynamics of aphids and their natural enemies were investigated in spring and winter cereals at six farm sites across three geographic regions in eastern Scotland. Variation in aphid and natural enemy abundance was assessed in relation to crop type and farm location.


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Food webs in barley fields: implications for biological control
Mattias Jonsson

Abstract: The feeding patterns of generalist predators have important implications for biological control, but in the past it has been difficult to get a comprehensive picture of predator food webs due to difficulties in quantifying feeding links. However, recent developments in molecular methodology provide opportunities to parameterize predator-prey food webs with a high level of spatio-temporal resolution. We have constructed food webs of generalist carabid beetles and spiders and their prey in Swedish spring-sown barley fields using multiplex molecular gut content analysis, and explored implications for cereal aphid biological control. We investigated the presence of DNA of 13 different intraguild and extraguild prey types in the guts of > 3500 generalist predators in 10 barley fields during the aphid colonization and population growth phase. We found that although carabid beetles and spiders frequently fed on a range of different prey types, they maintained high levels of aphid pest predation during both phases of aphid population dynamics. Neither feeding on intraguild prey or alternative extraguild prey diverted the predators from aphid feeding. Overall we found strikingly low levels of specialization in the food webs, suggesting a high level of functional redundancy in the predator communities. However, we still detected certain changes in prey choice over time with small carabids and spiders preferring to feed on aphids early in the season, while larger carabids preferred to feed on aphids later on. In a newly started project we will explore whether the high redundancy observed in these generalist predator communities can provide resilience against climate change and environmental variability.


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Measuring biological control using surrogate prey items in winter wheat
John Holland, Niamh McHugh, Steve Moreby, Philippe Jeanneret

Abstract: Surrogate prey (insects or seeds) forming sentinels were used to measure the effects of semi-natural habitats at field to landscape scales on levels of biological control in winter wheat in the UK. Sentinels were located adjacent to three boundary types: grassy margin, hedgerow s and woodland in landscapes of varying heterogeneity. The mean levels of predation were higher for most insect prey (up to 57%) compared to seeds (up to 8%). Semi-natural habitats had both positive and negative effects at field and landscape scales but the response varied with the sentinel type.


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Video monitoring of brown planthopper in rice shows importance of frogs for biological pest control
Yi Zou, Joop de Kraker, Felix J. J. A. Bianchi, Mario D. van Telgen, Haijun Xiao and Wopke van der Werf

Abstract: The contribution of different predator guilds to biological pest control is usually inferred from the abundance of these guilds or from selective exclusion, but direct observation is rarely used. However, the best evidence for predation is obtained by catching the predator in the act. We used direct observation by video recording to identify the most important predators of brown plant hopper (BPH), Nilaparvata lugens, a pest of major importance in rice. In the first experiment, we used dead BPH and demonstrate that long-horned grasshoppers (Tettigoniidae: Conocephalus longipennis), which are primarily herbivorous, but scavenging if given opportunity, were responsible for most removals of dead prey. Wolf spiders (Lycosidae) were the second most important. In a second experiment we compared the consumer guilds removing (i) dead BPH, (ii) live, immobilized BPH, and (iii) live, mobile BPH. Long-horned grasshoppers (C. longipennis) were again the main removal agents of dead BPH, ground beetles (Carabidae) of live, immobilized BPH, and frogs (Ranidae: Rana limnocharis) of live, mobile BPH. This study highlights for the first time the important contribution of frogs to predation on BPH in rice. Furthermore, we show that removal of immobilized sentinel prey is not representative for predation of live mobile prey, underlining the need for a critical assessment of commonly used sentinel methods.


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Natural pest control requires a complete landscape
Paul C. J. van Rijn

Abstract: In many studies on landscape and functional biodiversity it is assumed that pest-regulating insects require other habitats than only agricultural fields. Other habitats can e.g. be important as hibernation site, as source of alternative prey or as source of floral resources. The relative contribution of the different habitats to the performance of the beneficial insects and to pest-regulating services they provide is very difficult to study empirically. Landscape-based population-dynamical modelling can then come at hand. Such models can be used to predict mechanisms and patterns that can be tested experimentally. As an example, I created population models of aphid-feeding hoverflies moving between different habitats in an arable landscape. The models are designed and parameterised on the basis of field observations on temporal and habitat-related availability of resources. Habitat-structured models can indicate the optimal composition of the landscape with respect to pest control. The models e.g. indicate that the amount of woody elements, which are particularly important for hoverflies as spring habitat, are a likely a bottleneck for effective pest regulation in Dutch arable landscapes. They also show that various arable crops can enhance each other’s pest control when their aphid populations peek at different moments in time (such as winter wheat and potato). These and other habitats are complementary in their function for the predators, and several of them are needed to create a ‘complete landscape’.


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Tipping the system: the difficult transition from chemical towards natural pest control in agriculture
L. Bakker, F. J. J. A. Bianchi, W. van der Werf and P. Tittonell

Abstract: Insecticides are used intensively for agricultural pest management, despite decades-long efforts to diminish pesticide dependency. Pest management can be characterized as a dynamic system with alternative states – a biocontrol-dependent state and a pesticide dependent state. A pesticide dependent state is characterized by a positive feedback between insecticide use, reduction of natural enemies, release of pests from top-down natural enemy control, and need for more insecticides. A biocontrol-dependent state is characterized by effective pest suppression by natural enemies, no or limited need to use insecticides, and limited disturbance of natural enemy populations. Each stable state is self-reinforcing due to positive feedback, and the transition from one state to the other could be characterized by “tipping points”: critical points in the management intensity where the system switches from one stable state to the other. More insight is needed on these pest control system dynamics, and the trajectory of pesticide dependency to biocontrol dependency. This will contribute to a better understanding under which set of conditions a coordinated effort between stakeholders has potential to “tip” the pest control system to an insecticide-independent state.


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Designing multifunctional agro-landscapes: a multi-objective optimization approach
Willemien Geertsema, Felix J. J. A. Bianchi, Walter A. H. Rossing, Wopke van der Werf and Seleshi Yalew

Abstract: To counteract the pressures of intensive agricultural production systems on the environment there is increasing interest in habitat management to strengthen ecosystem services. By creation of flower strips and management of semi-natural habitats, farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural landscapes try to enhance populations of ecosystem service providers’ habitats, such as natural enemies of pests and pollinators. However, the redesign of landscapes for multiple ecosystem services needs to take the trade-offs and synergies between ecosystem services and agricultural profitability into account. We used the modelling framework Landscape IMAGES to explore options for reconfiguring and managing habitats for multiple ecosystem services in the Hoeksche Waard, The Netherlands. A wide variety of alternative landscape configurations and management practices were evaluated using a Pareto-optimizing algorithm. The analysis shows that there are both trade-offs and synergies between crop production, floral resources for flying natural enemies, water quality, and the management costs allocated to different stakeholders (private and public) in the landscape. These findings can help stakeholders to make informed decisions about their management actions.


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Does the association between fruit trees and vegetables promote functional biodiversity and biocontrol of vegetables pests?
Camille Imbert, François Warlop, Léa Husson & Claire Lavigne

Abstract: Agroecological systems often rely on mixing crops to maximise production. In this study, we investigated if associating fruit trees and vegetables in plots increased predator arthropod abundance and pest control. For this purpose, we compared activity-densities of predator arthropods and predation of sentinel aphids in plots grown with cabbages within or outside of apple orchards. Sampling was performed six times during one season by pitfall trapping and visual observations. Our results indicate that there were overall few significant differences between the two types of plots and these were always in the direction of more predators in the control plots.


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Soil matters: agronomic practices impacts on natural regulation of root pests of field vegetables
Celine Delabre, K. A. Evans, Michael Gaffney, Julia Cooper, Bryan Griffiths , Richard Hopkins

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On the presence of Vespoidea on an Italian racecourse
Costanza Jucker, Nasim Amiresmaeili, Daniela Lupi

Abstract: Hymenoptera Vespoidea can represent a risk for humans in populated areas as they frequently nest near houses, within walls, or on trees in public parks. Moreover, their abundance can result in adverse encounters with people. In the present work we investigated the presence of Vespoidea in a racecourse in the city of Milan (northern Italy). In the past, the presence of nests of Vespula germanica under the ground has caused harm to humans and horses. The survey was conducted from May to October 2016 using 28 TAP TRAP© baited with beer and checked every 15 days. Specimens of only three species, V. germanica, Vespa crabro and Polistes gallicus, were captured in the period. Many V. crabro were captured on each monitoring date; in comparison, the other two species were very low. No V. gemanica nest were found in the proximity of the traps. The presence of many burrows due to voles in the area that could facilitate the settlement of V. germanica, causing problems to horses and people, should be taken in account to limit the settlement of this species.


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Carabid composition in different agricultural landscapes
Darija Lemic, Ivana Pajač Živković, Maja Čačija, Tomislav Kos, Helena Virić Gašparić, Božena Barić, Renata Bažok

Abstract: Carabids are the most abundant and diverse group of beneficial insects inhabiting agricultural crops all over the world. They are known as bioindicators of ecosystem stability, since they can indicate the field quality caused by anthropogenic influence. In order to preserve carabid biodiversity in intensively managed agro-ecosystems, it is important to monitor their composition, abundance, dominance and diversity in agricultural landscapes. The carabid populations were investigated during the vegetation season 2015 in IPM perennial (orchard) and IPM annual (arable) agro-ecosystems. Altogether, 1612 individuals belonging to 38 species were collected. In perennial agro-ecosystem, 17 species were recorded, mostly belonging to genera Harpalus, Pterostichus and Calathus. In arable agro-ecosystem, 26 species were recorded with the most represented genera of Harpalus, Brachinus, Pterostichus and Amara. Only four species were registered in both agricultural landscapes. The orchard landscape can be characterized as having relatively low species richness in comparison with arable landscape. Presented results confirm that anthropogenically influenced agricultural landscapes generate different disturbance degrees in the carabid communities resulting in decreased biodiversity in long established landscape compared to variable annual landscape.


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Mites’ functional biodiversity in terraced vineyards of Cinque Terre National Park
Elena Gagnarli, Roberto Nannelli, Giuseppino Sabbatini Peverieri, Marisa Castagnoli, Matteo Perrone, Silvia Guidi, Donatella Goggioli, Franca Tarchi, Maria Rosa Lottero, Lorenzo Corino, Sauro Simoni

Abstract: Cultural tendencies to simplify ecosystems caused the loss of the genetic diversity as represented by species but also as structural and functional biodiversity. Along the Ligurian Sea, in Cinque Terre National Park, terraced hills managed for viticulture are declared UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. As contribution to knowledge of the biodiversity, the present study on mites can be considered a key reading as bioindication in this agroecosystem to assess quality in viticulture, stability in soils and regulation of pests and diseases.
Mite groups, expressing high functional diversity, are usually the most abundant groups of microarthropods in soil and can highly colonize plant in temperate ecosystems. The study started by the evaluation of the acarofauna on grapevines in five vineyards, from 50 to 400m ASL (Manarola, Corniolo, Fossola, Groppo, Porciana). On the whole, grapevine pruned woods and leaves were sampled from autumn 2007 to autumn 2008. Five samplings of soil mite communities were taken from autumn 2008 to autumn 2010. For each site, the epigeic and edaphic acarofauna was determined at family or specific level. All abundances were determined and analyzed by Anova; the community structure was characterized on the basis of different functional mite groups: detritivorous/saprophagous, mycophagous, phytophagous, predators, others.
In all leaves sampled, very high presence of predator mites, mainly phytoseiids, was registered: they represented about 95% of the acarofauna. As regards the phytoseiids, the adults represented about 60% of population, the most frequent and abundant species was Kampimodromus aberrans, followed by Typhlodromus pyri, T. finitimus and T. exhilaratus. The presence of tydeiids, mites with less specialized feeding habits, was about 6%.
Soil mite community represented the main group (56.6%) of total microarthropods collected (> 6,700 specimens). The group of detritivorous/saprophagous was the most represented (> 70%), while mycophagous and predators ranged between 12 and 16%.
By considering soil mites, the group of oribatids was the most abundant and affected by sampling sites (F4,111 = 3.38; P = 0.012). Twenty-seven families and 42 species of oribatids were identified, 20 families of Prostigmata and 9 of Mesostigmata with 29 species. Both density, diversity and functional diversity of Acari here registered were higher than in similarly managed agroecosystems.
Considering both aerial and edaphic levels, the analysis of functional mite groups performed in Cinque Terre Park, can be considered an efficient tool in the evaluation of quality and management of the ecosysytem.


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Landscape scale management of insect populations
Richard Dye, Graham S. Begg

Abstract: Ecological approaches to pest management often depend on the maintenance and mixing of two or more insect populations. These systems frequently involve the establishment of favourable habitats for the populations that we wish to maintain in the landscape but little is known about how best to manage such habitats within the landscape. In this paper we describe a modelling approach to simulate the spatial dynamics of interacting populations and their response to landscape management strategies.


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EcoOrchard – collecting existing knowledge and generating new knowledge on functional biodiversity of organic orchards
L. Sigsgaard, F. Warlop, A. Herz, M. Tchamitcian, L. Pfiffner, M. Kelderer, L. Jamar, D. Kruzynska, M. Korsgaard, M. Tasin, L. Ozolina-Pole

Abstract: Organic fruit growers often suffer economic losses due to insect damages. The available natural pest control products are not always effective; and most important: many organic fruit growers would prefer not to use any pesticide at all. EcoOrchard, a CORE Organic Plus project (2015-18) aims to collect existing knowledge and generate new knowledge in order to use Functional AgroBiodiversity (FAB) successfully in orchards. This includes experimental trials in seven countries on the potential of inter-row flower strips for control of key pests and natural enemy augmentation, the establishment of the EBIO-Network as a European-wide network of stakeholders for collecting, sharing and improving scientific and practical knowledge and experience in FAB management, the development and testing of simple FAB assessment tools for use on-farm by growers and advisors, and finally, using a participatory approach to learn about potential constraints that may hamper the adoption of innovative tools and how to solve these constraints by iterative reevaluation.


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Key parameters for the management and design of field margins aiming to the conservation of beneficial insects
M. Pérez-Marcos, E. López-Gallego, M. J. Ramírez-Soria and J. A. Sanchez

Abstract: Edges of vegetation on crop fields may increase the abundance and diversity of natural enemies and pollinators. This study emphasizes some aspects on plant management. Germination, coverage and blossoming were registered on several plant species. Germination and plant emergence showed a great variation among species. High coverage plants (e.g. Coriandrum sativum) relegates small ones (e.g. Salvia verbenaca and Silene vulgaris) to the understory. Borago officinalis and Echium vulgare had extended blossoming periods, while Coriandrum sativum and Vicia sativa had short and peaked ones; Diplotaxis catholica, S. verbenaca and S. vulgaris showed an intermediate pattern. Guidelines for the choice and management of plant species are provided.


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Overwintering of Encarsia tricolor on the cabbage whitefly
Sebastian Laurenz, André Brun, Rainer Meyhöfer

Abstract: Encarsia tricolor is the dominant parasitoid species of the cabbage whitefly, Aleyrodes proletella. The latter finds sufficient overwintering habitats to appear in masses on cabbage crops during cultivation periods, whereas habitats with suitable overwintering hosts for E. tricolor are hardly available. Therefore, specific management strategies are needed to facilitate parasitoid overwintering. As a first step, this study aimed to provide general knowledge about the overwintering stages, the overwintering period and the overwintering success of E. tricolor on its primary host A. proletella. Results show that Encarsia tricolor successfully survived winter as immature stages, but no adults were found during late winter months. Visual observations revealed that at least 2.4% of A. proletella nymphs actually enclosed vital parasitoid eggs/ larvae during winter (n = 1,603), because they started to turn dark (parasitoid pupation) between 13-20 April. The proportion of adult emergence from these subsequently developed parasitoid pupae was 41%. In contrast, only 1.1% of parasitoid pupae collected in January overwintered successfully (n = 356). First adult E. tricolor were found on yellow sticky traps in the field between 4-11 May. The gained insights on the overwintering of E. tricolor are compared with the population dynamics of A. proletella on cabbage crops and conclusions for additional management strategies are discussed.


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Effects of landscape heterogeneity on crop colonization by natural predators of pests in protected horticultural cropping systems
Stéphanie Aviron, Sylvain Poggi, Yann-David Varennes, Amélie Lefèvre

Abstract: In Mediterranean regions, colonization of protected horticultural crops by native predatory mirid bugs is frequent, but these processes remain highly heterogeneous among crops. Our study aimed at assessing the effects of crop management practices and local landscape heterogeneity (landscape composition and configuration within 300 m buffers around crops) on populations of Macrolophus and Dicyphus mirids in protected tomato crops in southern France. We found significant effects of landscape heterogeneity on mirid populations, but effects were similar for landscape composition and configuration. Tomato crops were colonized the most by Macrolophus mirids in landscapes with fallow, that seemed to act as source of mirids for crops. In contrast, crop colonization was reduced by nearby orchard, which reflected either sink or dilution effects. Mirid popuations were also reduced in crops with intensive management practices. Maintaining large areas of fallow is important to enhance native beneficial fauna, but adopting integrated plant management practices remains the most promising strategy to enhance mirid populations in protected horticultural crops.


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Relationship between landscape structure and abundance of airborne beneficial arthropods in an olive agro-ecosystem
Susana Pascual, Alejandro Rescia, Ismael Sánchez-Ramos, Manuel González-Núñez, Marta Ortega

Abstract: Some of the groups of beneficial arthropods present in the olive grove canopy are hoverflies, hymenopteran parasitoids and bees. In this research we test the hypothesis that the abundance of these groups in olive groves increases with increasing landscape complexity. In spring 2015 and 2016 we determined the abundance of the beneficial insect groups in 15 olive groves by identification of insects captured on 4 yellow sticky traps in each olive grove. Indices of landscape structure were calculated in circular areas with radii ranging from 250 to 1500 m around the 15 olive groves selected. Preliminary results indicate that in both sampling dates, the abundance of hoverflies was negatively correlated with the patch size of the olive grove, but positively correlated with the total area of scrublands and oak forests and with the diversity index of land uses. The abundance of hymenopteran parasitoids and bees was also positively correlated with the total area of scrublands with oak, in both years, but negatively correlated with the patch size of olive groves in the case of bees. Not all these relationships were significant at all radii and years analysed. These results indicate that intermingling of spontaneous vegetation with olive groves favours the presence of beneficial arthropods.


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