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IOBC-WPRS Bulletin Vol. 75, 2012


IOBC-WPRS Bulletin Vol. 75, 2012

Working Group "Landscape Management for Functional biodiversity".
Preceedings of the meeting at Lleida (Spain), 07 - 10 May, 2012.
Edited by: John Holland, Bärbel Gerowitt, Oscar Alomar, Felix Bianchi, Lisa Eggenschwiler, Maarten van Helden, Camilla Moonen, Hans-Michael Poehling and Walter Rossing.
ISBN 978-92-9067-252-4 [VI + 245 pp.]


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Arthropod complexes inhabiting different levels of grassy vegetation
Valentina Afonina, Wladimir Tshernyshev, Alexandr Semenov, Andrey Semenov

Abstract: Arthropods were collected separately on upper, middle and low levels of grassy
vegetation. Upper complex of arthropods was sampled by sweep-netting, arthropods falling down
from the middle part of plants were collected by small plastic containers (a new method) and
arthropods active on the soil surface were collected with the help of standard pitfall traps.
Container-traps with preservative liquid were put on the soil surface between plant stems. These
plastic traps only seldom contained inhabitants of the upper level and were inaccessible for
arthropods of soil surfaces. The number of arthropods falling down into 100 containers per 24 hrs
could reach 300 specimens per 1m² of liquid surface. The complex of species and number of
specimens on the middle level differed from such data on upper and low levels at the same place.
Moreover, some species in containers were 10-200 times more abundant. Some species were
found only in containers. It is important to note that pitfall traps without any roof, collect not only
arthropods active on the soil surface but also individuals falling down from plants. We suppose
that this method of arthropod collecting will be used both in scientific research and in plant
protection monitoring.


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The spatial distribution and the composition of wild bee species
available for pollination of early strawberry varieties in four different countries

Erica Juel Ahrenfeldt, Björn Kristian Klatt, Julie Arildsen, Nina Trandem, Georg Andersson, Teja Tscharntke, Lene Sigsgaard

Abstract: Field margins can serve as habitat for beneficial insects. In conservation of beneficials
an understanding of the spatial distribution and range is crucial. Few studies have investigated
how wild bee species richness, abundance and species size is distributed spatially in crop fields
and how response may be affected by geographical location. We assessed the composition of wild
bee species available for pollination of early strawberry varieties as affected by field margin type
and geographical location. Bees were sampled at the field middle and two types of field margins
in 14 early flowering strawberry fields in five different geographical locations: Mid-Norway,
South-Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany giving a North-South gradient of approximately
1100km. Preliminary results show that catch per day was higher in Denmark and Germany than
in the two study areas in Norway. The soil-nesting genus Andrena (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae)
was generally very common in all geographical regions and dominated the samples in the
southern regions, whereas Bombus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) were more frequent than Andrena in
the Northern study areas and virtually absent from Danish and German samples. It remains to be
tested how bee species richness, abundance and species size is distributed spatially in the
strawberry fields across the study locations.


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Can entomophagous Heteroptera take a role in suppressing herbivorous insect pests?
Mohamed A. Amro and Farouk A. Abdel-Galil

Abstract: A faunistic survey of Hemiptera-Heteroptera (True-Bugs) inhabiting selected crop
plants and weeds was performed in Assiut Governorate 375km north of Cairo, Upper Egypt,
during summer seasons of 2009 and 2010. Twenty-two Heteropteran species belonging to 8
families were recorded. Host plant range and preferred host plants were identified. Relative
abundance was calculated by dividing the number of samples in which each species occurred by
the total number of samples (abundance percentage). The predaceous species Orius spp. and
Deraeocoris serenus Douglas & Scott showed the highest levels of abundance. However, the
predators Geocoris megacephalus (Rossi) and Coranus aegyptius (Fabricius) reached only
moderate densities. Moreover the potential of the mirid D. serenus in consuming the aphid
species Therioaphis trifolii (Monell) was determined in laboratory studies.


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Hymenoptera abundance on candidate plants for conservation biological control
Judit Arnó, Rosa Gabarra, Òscar Alomar

Abstract: As part of the general goal of identifying plants useful for conservation biological
control this study aimed to assess the role of different species as habitat for Hymenoptera. Twenty-four
monospecific plots of selected plants were sampled during winter, early and late spring.
Sinapis alba hosted the highest numbers of Hymenoptera throughout the sampling period, even
when it was not blooming. Large numbers of Hymenoptera were also collected on Brassica nigra,
much related to the flowering period, and on Medicago sativa, especially in late spring. Regarding
woody plants, Viburnum tinus may be of some interest in spring.


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Density dependent seed removal in dryland cereals by harvester ants
Valentina Atanackovic, Joel Torra, Barbara Baraibar & Paula R. Westerman

Abstract: In dryland cereals in NE Spain, the harvester ant, Messor barbarus L., is responsible
for a high percentage of seed removal. A direct density dependent response of seed predators to
seed patches may help regulate weed populations. In this study, we investigated if seed removal
rate by harvester ants is influenced by weed seed density. For this reason, 60 circular areas of 1m2
were created inside four 50×50m blocks after cereal harvest Lolium multiflorum L. seeds were
applied at 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 or 20000 seeds/m2, in ten randomly selected areas each; the
remaining 10 were used to test the methodology used to retrieve the seeds. After 24h, the
remaining seeds were collected using vacuum cleaners or a D-vac and seed removal rates were
estimated. In three of the four blocks, seed removal was extremely high (99-100%), and the
response was therefore density independent Here, nests densities ranged from 468 to 900
nests/ha. In the fourth block seed removal was 91%, and here nest density was lower (284


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Effect of a flowering trap crop on insect pests and their natural enemies
Francisco Rubén Badenes-Pérez and Beatriz Parrado Márquez

Abstract: Yellow rocket, Barbarea vulgaris R. Br. (Brassicaceae), is a biennial plant that has
been proposed as a trap crop for the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella L. (Lepidoptera:
Plutellidae). Since P. xylostella is the most damaging insect pest of cruciferous crops throughout
the world and it can easily develop resistance to insecticides, trap cropping is a desirable
technique for P. xylostella management as an alternative to insecticide use. Here we study the
potential of flowering B. vulgaris to attract aphidophagous syrphid flies and to increase the
populations of parasitoids associated with P. xylostella in Spain.


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Attractiveness of flowers of different plant species to bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)
and hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) of central Spain

Jelena Barbir, José Manuel Martín, David Campos, César Fernández-Quintanilla, Francisco Rubén Badenes-Pérez, José Dorado

Abstract: Over the last century, rapid expansion of intensive agricultural practices has
contributed to modify and destroy the natural habitat of many species, including beneficial
insects (i.e. bees and hoverflies). In order to conserve beneficial insects and improve their
habitats, it is important to find out what plant species are attractive for those insects, and at the
same time suitable to be implemented in habitat management of agro-ecosystems. This research
investigates the attractiveness of nine annual plant species and two mixtures of plant species for
beneficial insects under field conditions. The results show that there were differences in
beneficial insects’ preference for different flower species. Bees preferred Borago officinalis,
Diplotaxis muralis, Echium plantagineum and Phacelia tanacetifolia, while hoverflies favored
Calendula arvensis, Coriandrum sativum, Diplotaxis muralis and Lobularia maritima.
Furthermore, Diplotaxis muralis was the only plant preferred by both groups of beneficial
insects, while Tagetes patula was the least attractive for all beneficial insects included in the


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Effects of companion plants on the behavior of the green peach aphid
reared on pepper plants

Refka Ben Issa, Laurent Gomez, Marie-Hélène Sauge and Hélène Gautier

Abstract: Mixing horticultural plants with companion plants (CP) was proposed as an alternative
method to control green peach aphid populations. Basil, lavender and rosemary were assessed as
CP associated with pepper plants subjected to aphid infestation: i) on mesocosms in growth
chambers and ii) in olfactometers. When pepper was associated with rosemary, lavender or basil,
female fecundity was significantly reduced. In addition female flight was the most important in
the presence of rosemary compared to other CP. Olfactory tests revealed that basil plants had a
repellent effect on aphids. Our results sustain the hypothesis that associating CP with horticultural
crops may be useful in reducing aphid populations.


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Spatial variability in ecosystem services: which predator does best where?
Felix Bianchi, Nancy Schellhorn, Yvonne Buckley and Hugh Possingham

Abstract: Agricultural pest control often relies on the ecosystem services provided by the
predators of pests. Appropriate landscape and habitat management for pest control services
requires an understanding of insect dispersal abilities and the spatial arrangement of source
habitats for pests and their predators. Here we explore how dispersal and habitat configuration
determine the locations where management actions are likely to have the biggest impact on
natural pest control using a spatially explicit simulation model for four typical, but different,
predator groups. Predator groups represented trait combinations of poor and good dispersal
ability, and density independent and density dependent aggregation responses towards pests.
We show that the spatial arrangement of source habitats for natural enemies of agricultural
pest species can have profound effects on their potential to colonize crops and suppress pest
populations. Nevertheless, mobile and strongly aggregating predators provide the best pest
suppression in the majority of landscape types.


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A molecular analysis of predation by generalist predators on the codling moth
and the oriental fruit moth in organic apple orchards

Catherine Boreau de Roincé, Claire Lavigne, Jean-Michel Ricard, Pierre Franck, Jean-Charles Bouvier, Alain Garcin and W. O. C. Symondson

Abstract: Biological control by conservation of native natural enemies can help to reduce the
need for pesticides and prevent their detrimental effects upon the environment. Here we assess
the role of ground-active generalist predators as natural enemies of two tortricid pests in apple
orchards. Using diagnostic PCR on the gut of field-caught ground-active predators, we found no
difference in predation rates on these two pests. Spiders were the most efficient predators of
moths in spring while the carabid beetles, feeding on diapausing larvae, were important in
autumn. The temporal complementarity between spiders and carabid beetles highlights the need
for diverse predator assemblages to optimize conservation biological control.


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Natural enemies in organic citrus orchards: trees and ground cover distribution
Altea Calabuig, Alfonso Domínguez-Gento, Ricardo Ballester, Sandra González, Rosa Vercher

Abstract: This study reports on the distribution of natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) in
two vegetation layers, citrus trees and ground cover, in a commercial ecological citrus orchard in
Valencia (Spain). Both layers contained a high abundance of natural enemies and parasitoids
were the most abundant group. Depending on the layer, some species are more abundant in citrus
trees, ground cover or both.


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Biodiversity of plants and arthropods in key ecological structures of vineyards
of the Alto Douro region

Carlos, C., Afonso, S.; Crespí, A.; Aranha, J.; Thistlewood, H., Torres, L.

Abstract: Vineyards in many parts of the world can be regarded as monocultures with little
remaining native vegetation, often with a suite of introduced weeds, and having ecosystem
services at a low level. By contrast, the UNESCO designated Alto Douro Vinhateiro Area has
legally protected landscapes and contains a significant area of non-crop habitats (e.g. woodland
remnants, grassy slopes, or terraces with natural vegetation and dry stone walls). In this study, we
are measuring the interactions of landscape elements and biodiversity, with particular emphasis
on natural enemies of the grape berry moth, Lobesia botrana. The study began in May 2010, in
three pilot farms, mostly vineyards with olive groves, under different growing practices. A
detailed inventory was made of the plant communities in key ecological infrastructures, such as
woodland remnants, grassy slopes and borders. In 2010, arthropod populations were sampled by
D-VAC suction sampling, yellow sticky traps and pit-fall traps, at various distances into the
vineyard from natural vegetation, three times during the year. We present the results of measures
of abundance and biodiversity indices, at 14-18 locations within the farms. These results will lead
to improved understanding of the value of different vegetation types, and of cultural practices,
interacting in biodiversity and pest management.


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Flowering forbs for field margins: selecting species that optimize ecosystem services
Romain J. G. Carrié, David R. George, Felix L. Wäckers

Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess the attractiveness of flowers to target groups of
beneficial insects. Water trap samples were taken throughout the entire period of inflorescence
and were accompanied by sweep net sampling in early summer. Samples were assessed for target
insect groups (predatory beetles, true bugs, aphids, hoverflies and Parasitica) that are known to
provide ecosystem services in farm landscapes (such as pollination, conservation and pest
control). Yarrow and Oxeye daisy were the most promising flowering plants, attracting multiple
beneficial target groups. These species seem to be the most promising for use in flowering field


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An attempt to identify the factors influencing weed seed predation
in an area with large field sizes

Daniel Daedlow, Paula R. Westerman, Bärbel Gerowitt

Abstract: Granivores can contribute to long-term weed control by consuming substantial
proportions of newly produced weed seeds in crop fields. In N-Germany, however, seed losses
and granivore densities tend to be lower than elsewhere. To investigate possible driving factors,
seed predation rates were measured in six cereal fields. Factors under consideration were farming
system (organic or conventional), distances from the field edge (0-100m) and the relative
contributions of vertebrates and invertebrates to seed consumption. As expected, seed predation
rates increased from early spring to early summer, after which they decreased again. Farming
system had little or no effect on seed predation rates. Seed predation by invertebrates was
comparable to that in other studies, but seed predation by vertebrates, mainly rodents, was much
lower. The effect of distance to the field edge on predation rates was variable and may be linked
to predator identity. Apart from the low vertebrate activity, no reasons could be identified for the
low seed predation rates. Some untested detrimental factor has to be involved, affecting both
conventional and organic fields. Alternatively, the impoverished landscape as a whole is to


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Enhancing wild bees in agricultural landscapes
Silvia Dorn, Antonia Zurbuchen, Andreas Müller

Abstract: The movement of insects in agricultural landscapes has been a major research topic of
the Applied Entomology group at ETH Zurich for two decades. This paper provides a synopsis of
the key findings from our recent field experiments with wild (solitary) pollen specialist bees on
farmland. To provide their brood cells with pollen and nectar, these bees have to commute
between their nesting site and the flowering host plant, but critical distances as well as the
potential impact of landscape barriers were largely unknown yet. To understand the effect of
landscape barriers on foraging activities, we released marked bees from the nest to forage across
landscape structures. Our findings indicate that landscape structures such as forests or rivers are
not insurmountable barriers for the bee species tested. To evaluate the effect of small vs. large
distances between the crucial resources on wild bees and their reproduction, we used a new
experimental approach in which patches of host plants were moved progressively further away
from the nest over time. Results document conclusively that solitary bees can travel unexpectedly
long distances between nest and flower resources. However, only few individuals of a species
forage over long distances, whereas most individuals cover only few hundred metres.
Furthermore, long foraging flights come at the cost of substantially fewer offspring. Hence a
close neighbourhood of foraging habitats and nesting sites within few hundred metres are
imperative to ensure the persistence of these pollinator populations. Switzerland reimburses
farmers that leave a small proportion of their land uncropped or covered with sown flowering
plants, and we conclude that the spatial arrangement of these areas will provide important
opportunities for maintaining pollinator diversity.


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Suitability of two different trap types for catching aphid antagonists and pollinators
Lisa Eggenschwiler, Eve Roubinet, Christine Tisch, Paula Rodriguez, Katja Jacot

Abstract: We tested two trap types with regard to their suitability for collecting aphid antagonists
(hoverflies, ladybirds and lacewings) and important pollinators (wild bees and honey bees). In
three habitat types – hedgerow margins, extensively managed meadows and winter wheat fields –,
one window trap and two cornet traps (one with an eastward and one with a westward opening)
were exposed between mid-April and mid-June 2011 and the collecting bottles emptied weekly.
Data collection was replicated ten times in one region in Northern Switzerland.
Insect groups responded differently to habitat types. Moreover, trap type had a significant
influence on insects caught, with significantly more insects being collected with the cornet traps
than with the window traps. According to our findings, cornet traps appear to be suitable for
collecting various insect groups, whilst window traps cannot be recommended for the insects


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The selection of native insectary plants for landscaping
in greenhouse areas of SE Spain

in greenhouse areas of SE Spain Estefanía Rodríguez, Vicky Schwarzer, Jan van der Blom, Tomás Cabello, Mónica González

Abstract: A multi-criteria analysis was carried out to select the most suitable native insectary
plants that could be used for planting around horticultural crops in Almeria (SE Spain). Species
were chosen from autochthonous flora of Almeria, the most important criteria being the specific
resources (food, shelter and mating sites) that plants offer to different groups of natural enemies.
We selected 29 species belonging to 18 botanic families that satisfied all the requirements. After
selecting these species, we designed and planted a xerophytic garden of 800m2 that simulates the
way that this vegetation exists naturally. This experimental plot will serve for further surveys of
the dynamics of beneficial arthropods living in and around these plants and to decide which ones
are the best for landscape restoration.


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Perennial field margins for functional biodiversity in UK vegetable rotation schemes:
Establishment and resource provision

David R. George, Patricia Croft, Maureen Wakefield, Felix L. Wäckers

Abstract: A five year project, introduced at the last IOBC Landscape Management for Functional
Biodiversity meeting, is underway in the UK to build upon previous research to combine the
biodiversity and pest-control benefits of perennial field margins. Key to the success of this
project is the selection of a seed mix that provides multiple benefits in terms of promoting
functional agro-biodiversity. This paper provides details of how the selected seed mix has
performed over successive seasons in the UK with regard to plant establishment, flowering times
and provision of aphids on flowering ‘banker plants’.


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Can surrounding landscapes be predictive of in-field pest infestation?
Peter B. Goodell, Kris Lynn-Patterson, Robert J. Johnson

Abstract: Lygus hesperus is a key pest in the cotton Integrated Pest Management system of the
San Joaquin Valley of California, USA. By legal regulation, fields must remain free of any cotton
plants from December until planting in March which prohibits arthropods from using cotton as an
overwinter site. L. hesperus is required to annually immigrate and a cotton field must rebuild its
entire arthropod food web during the production season, March until September. We propose
using community mapping approaches to understand the risk of L. hesperus infestation to an
individual cotton field based on surrounding crop mosaic. In 2011, we sampled arthropod
populations from selected cotton fields and mapped surrounding crops to a distance of 3.2km.
Using spatial tools, we sliced concentric rings of 0.8, 1.2 and 3.2km around the cotton field and
calculated the frequency of crops within each ring. Comparing the abundance of known crops
which act as sources or sinks of L. hesperus to the maximum infestation in and number of
insecticide applications to a field, patterns emerged to indicate relative risk of crop assemblages.
Understanding such patterns in the landscape creates the opportunity for a community to develop
planned landscapes to mitigate this key pest.


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Carabid beetles as a bioindicators in Environmental Risk Assessment of GMO’s
Marcin Grabowski, Zbigniew T. Dąbrowski

Abstract: The international discussions on Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) for
genetically modified plants (GMP) (EFSA 2008) selected the carabid communities of maize
fields as bio-indicators. The GM varieties expressing toxin Cry1 and Cry3 differently affect the
biology of carnivorous and phytophagous carabids and the transfer of the toxin through the
trophic levels. A main problem is the diversity of pathways by which the toxin can be move from
transgenic plants to non-target organisms. Ground-dwelling beetles are the most abundant
predatory arthropods living in agroecosystems of maize. Carabid larvae and adults are
polyphagous predators that may come into contact with toxins (Cry1, Cry3) expressed by
genetically modified maize in several ways: feeding on plants, target or non-target herbivores, via
the environment (root exudates plant biomass, pollen, dead insects). The problem of the GMO’s
impact on the environment should be discussed with other researchers involved in ERA to choose
the correct carabid beetles as a ‘surrogate’ species for risk assessment.


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Do the heterogeneity and composition of agricultural landscapes in Central Chile
influence native and exotic coccinellids in alfalfa fields?

Audrey A. Grez, Tania Zaviezo, Annia Rodríguez-San Pedro, Jaime Hernández, Paz Acuña

Abstract: We evaluated the effect of the compositional and configurational heterogeneity of
landscapes and of the most common cover types surrounding alfalfa fields on the abundance and
diversity of native and exotic coccinellids in alfalfa. Coccinellid assemblages in alfalfa did not
relate with compositional and cofigurational heterogeneity, but they were affected by the
abundance of different cover types, with abandoned fields being the only cover type that
differentially affected native and exotic species.


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Promoting agri-environment schemes for conservation biocontrol
John M. Holland

Abstract: Three literature reviews were conducted to identify the level of key resources for
natural enemies provided by agri-environment scheme habitats and subsequent impact within
crops. Hedgerows, flower-rich habitats and uncultivated areas such as occur between fields or
along hedgerows provided the most resources for natural enemies. On the whole the natural
enemy fauna occurring in agri-environment scheme habitats had been studied and described at
least to family, however, there was less evidence of an impact on natural enemy or pests levels
within the crop. The SAFE acronym (Shelter, Alternative prey, Floral resources and appropriate
Environment) is proposed as a way to raise awareness among farmers and their advisors of
natural enemies and their resource requirements.


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Effects of landscape complexity on parasitoid diversity and parasitism rates
in alfalfa aphids: preliminary results

Marina Janković, Srđan Stamenković, Milan Plećaš, Aleksandar Ćetković, Željko Tomanović

Abstract: Here, we studied the effects of landscape complexity on the host plant-aphidparasitoid
system, parasitoid species diversity and parasitism rates in 12 alfalfa fields in the
surroundings of Belgrade, Serbia. Sampling was done during two different plant phenophases
(the stage of early and late bud) throughout the alfalfa vegetative season (April to October) in
2010. Landscape complexity was measured as the percentage of non-crop area in 1.5km diameter
circular landscape sectors around the sampling plots. Our results demonstrate that landscape
complexity had no effect on aphid parasitoid species diversity and rates of parasitism decreased
significantly in complex landscapes. This finding suggests that complex landscapes supported
higher aphid densities, but not higher parasitoid densities, resulting in overall higher parasitism
rates in simple vs. complex landscapes.


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The impact of companion planting on the parasitism rate
of the small white butterfly Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae)

Riina Kaasik, Gabriella Kovács, Anne Luik, Eve Veromann

Abstract: This study investigated the effect of using companion plants on the occurrence of a
major pest in cabbage cultivation, Pieris rapae and its parasitism rate. Companion plants did not
have a significant effect on the occurrence of P. rapae over the study period of two years,
although they were significantly lower in one year when grown in association with Anethum
graveolens. Parasitism rate of P. rapae was highest on cabbages grown together with this plant
when the two year average was considered.


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Preliminary study of predatory insects fauna in ecological infrastructure
of Ravni kotari (Croatia) vineyards

Franin Kristijan,,Ražov Josip, Barić Božena

Abstract: One of the most important elements of ecological and integrated grape production are
stabile ecolological infrastructures. It is necessary to know which species of beneficial insects are
represented in ecological infrastructures in vineyards. Result of a one year preliminary
investigation are shown in this paper. During one vegetational season a total of 127 predatory
insects belonging to 9 families (Anthocoridae, Cantharidae, Carabidae, Chrysopidae,
Coccinellidae, Lygaeidae, Miridae, Nabidae and Syrphidae) were collected at three localities with
different production technologies. The highest number of 77 insect individuals belonging to 8
families were collected at Baštica which operates an integrated production technology, probably
because the vegetational richness was higher than the other two sites.


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Preliminary study on the suitability of Hymenoptera: Braconidae
as bioindicators of the pest management system in the vineyards

Augusto Loni, Andrea Lucchi

Abstract: A preliminary study on the Braconid population present in two vineyards, conducted
with different pest management systems was carried out in 2011. Insects were captured by
malaise traps and grouped at the subfamily level for the elaboration with Anosym and MDS
multivariate statistical analysis. Results show significant differences in the two contexts, and
suggest a strong impact of the pest management system on Braconid populations. We suggest that
Braconids can be used as potential bioindicators to evaluate different strategies of vineyard


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Diversity and abundance of spiders in the flora of the fruit area around Lleida (NE Spain)
Jaume Lordan, Georgina Alins and María José Sarasúa

Abstract: The identification of flora that is useful to provide shelter and food for spiders and
thereby increasing the biological control of pests was studied in the fruit tree region of Lleida
(Spain). The study was carried out in different areas, according to the presence of fruit tree
orchards and edapho-climatic conditions. Herbaceous plants were sampled by an insect suction
sampler. All the individuals captured in each sample were identified at family level. The main
plants hosting spiders during spring were Anacyclus clavatus (Desf.), Dorycnium pentaphyllum
(Scop.), Erucastrum nasturtiifolium (Poiret), Euphorbia serrata (L.), Hedysarum confertum
(Desf.), Papaver rhoeas (L.) and Trifolium pratense (L.). For the autumn period, most important
species were Atriplex sp., Dittrichia viscosa (L.), Medicago sativa (L.), Moricandia arvensis (L.),
Salsola kali (L.), Sorghum halepense (L.), Suaeda spicata (Willd.) and Verbena sp. The spiders’
families most abundant on the plants were Thomisidae, Linyphiidae and Oxyopidae.


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Italian rice agroecosystems: a threat to insect biodiversity?
Daniela Lupi, Sara Savoldelli, Anna Rocco, Bruno Rossaro

Abstract: Italy is the most important rice producer in Europe and rice agroecosystems occupy a
large area in the Po river lowland. The relationship between insect biodiversity and rice cultivated
land is evaluated on the basis of the pre-existing literature.


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Effect of management strategies on rove and ground beetles
in a hilly area in Northern Italy

Daniela Lupi, F. Romana Eördegh, Nicolò Corsi, Michele Rebecchi, Adriano Zanetti, Sergio Facchini, Mario Colombo

Abstract: Results of research on two important Coleoptera family, Staphylinidae (rove beetle)
and Carabidae (ground beetle), in a park landscape near Brescia (Northern Italy, Lombardy) are
given. This study investigated the impact of management strategies applied in woods and
meadows in this area on the two Coleoptera families. Noteworthy is the capture of the rove beetle
Atheta pseudoelongatula Bernhauer, 1907, an alien species never detected in Italy before.


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Preliminary evaluation of sugars from flowering plants as food resources
for Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae)
in an olive agroecosystem

Anabela Nave, Fátima Gonçalves, Maria da Conceição Rodrigues, Fernando Nunes, Mercedes Campos, Laura Torres

Abstract: Natural enemies play a major role in sustainable olive production through their ability
to regulate populations of insect pests. Many depend as adults on carbohydrate-rich food as the
main source of energy for longevity, fecundity, and mobility. Conservation of naturally occurring
sugar sources in agricultural fields, such as suitable flowering plants, may enhance beneficial
populations, thereby leading to improved pest control. Besides three dominant sugars (sucrose,
glucose, and fructose), nectar can contain various other sugars, sometimes in significant
concentrations. Also, insect species can vary considerably with respect to the spectrum of nectarsugars
they use. The goal of this study is to evaluate the potential of a range of native plant
species from the olive agroecosystem to provide nectar resources for Chrysoperla carnea
(Stephens), a major predator of important pests from this ecosystem. We examined the effect of
ten naturally occurring sugars on reproduction and adult survival in the laboratory. The sugar
composition of the nectar in flowers was determined by high performance anion exchange
chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD) analysis. We discuss the
results in the context of selecting floral resources to maximize conservation biological control in
the olive grove ecosystem.


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The effect of buffer zone width on biodiversity
Søren Navntoft, Lene Sigsgaard, Kristian Kristensen, Peter Esbjerg

Abstract: Field margin management for conservation purposes is a way to protect both
functional biodiversity and biodiversity per se without considerable economical loss as field
margins are less productive. However, the effect of width of the buffer zone on achievable
biodiversity gains has received little attention in previous studies. In this paper we report on
finding for syrphids, spiders and carabids, three taxonomic groups with different mobility, all
important for conservation biological control. For all groups we found an effect of buffer zone
width on their density. A buffer width of 6m was the narrowest that consistently promoted a
higher abundance or activity of arthropods within the field area (outside the hedge bottom).
However, a further increase in buffer width always increased the abundance and activity of
arthropods a little more.


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Influence of the surrounding landscape on olive fruit fly populations
Marta Ortega, Susana Pascual

Abstract: This work reports on the relationship between landscape composition and
configuration of land uses and the population density of the olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae, a
worldwide key pest of olive trees. The relationship was tested at different distances from the
olive fruit fly sampling points, in circular areas with radii ranging from 500 to 2000 m. A
significant relationship was found at short distances for the following indices: total number of
patches, mean patch size, total length of patch edges, edge density and mean patch edge length.
These results indicate that landscape features can affect populations of this phytophagous insect.
However, more detailed understanding of the processes underlying this phenomenon is needed to
implement measures to manage this important species.


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Effects of landscape complexity on parasitoid diversity and biological control
of cereal aphids

Milan Plećaš, Srđan Stamenković, Marina Janković, Aleksandar Ćetković, Željko Tomanović

Abstract: We studied aphid-parasitoid complex in wheat agroecosystems in two consequent
years in two contrasting landscape types, simple and complex (defined on the basis of percentage
of non-arable land within each 1.5km diameter circular landscape sector). Complex landscapes
supported higher parasitoid density and species richness, but also higher density of aphids, thus
possibly counterbalancing the positive effects of biological control. Therefore, both aphids and
parasitoids benefited from increased landscape complexity. Parasitism rates gave even less clear
conclusion: direction of the effect of landscape complexity on the parasitism rate was opposite in
two consequent years.


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GIS for planning conservation actions in viticulture landscapes
Benjamin Porte, Joël Rochard, Maarten van Helden, Josépha Guenser, Emma Fulchin

Abstract: GIS is increasingly used for the implementation of conservation programs. Before
setting up concrete conservation actions, stakeholders use GIS to analyze the landscape that
regulates main ecological processes. The Life + BioDiVine project relies on a large use of GIS
for the implementation of conservation actions into European vineyards. GIS is used for the
analysis of the landscape’s composition, structure and diversity at several scales. It allows
calculating landscape variables that are correlated to biodiversity values in order to highlight a
possible link between landscape and biodiversity. Specific maps help locating areas of interest for
conservation actions and represent a useful tool for communication with farmers or general


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Effect of additional resources on aphidophagous parasitoid wasp activity
on field margins in arable landscapes

Mark Ramsden, Rosa Menendez, Simon Leather and Felix Wäckers

Abstract: Insect predators and parasitoids act as biological pest control agents in agroecosystems,
and have the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services. The natural enemies
of pest species often require a greater diversity of resources than the crops themselves can
provide, and in monocultural farm management the numbers of these beneficial species may be
reduced through lack of alternative prey, floral resources or suitable overwintering sites. While
previous studies have indicated that field margin management will influence the population
dynamics of beneficial insects, the particular mechanisms involved and potential for practical use
in modern farming remain unclear. This study aims to highlight the key resources influencing the
activity of aphidophagous parasitoid wasps, and provide quantitative data to assist in the design
of optimum field margin and landscape management prescriptions.


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Monitoring arthropod diversity in Douro wine region vineyards
Alexis Rataux, Cristina Carlos, Fátima Gonçalves, José Aranha, Josépha Guenser, Fernando Alves, Maarten Van Helden

Abstract: Nowadays, many actions aim to enhance the biological control in agro ecosystems in
order to improve their resilience and sustainability. To what extent does the landscape structure
improve biodiversity? Is it possible to adapt vineyard management or surrounding landscape to
improve the presence of ecological infrastructures and thus increase biodiversity? Those two
questions are the basis of the European project LIFE+ “BioDiVine: Demonstrating functional
biodiversity in viticulture landscapes”.
In Portugal, ADVID is in charge of the implementation of conservation actions and for
monitoring their impact in three experimental sites located in the Douro Valley, with a global
surface of nearly 500 hectares. In 2011, two types of traps (combi and pitfall) have been set up in
five main habitats: vineyard, scrubland, urban, olive groves and olive hedgerows. The arthropods
caught during seven weeks of assessment (April-June) were sorted out using the Rapid
Biodiversity Assessment (RBA) method. Biological indexes were calculated and correlated with
landscape characteristics (Shannon’s landscape index) calculated through a GIS database to
investigate the way habitats influence arthropods’ biodiversity and, in the particular functional
biodiversity (Coccinellidae and Staphylinidae, Araneae and Opilionidae). More than 52000
arthropods were counted and 789 morphospecies identified, belonging to 18 orders of Insecta and
five orders of Arachnida. Arthropods caught by combi traps were more abundant on scrublands.
Some positive correlations have been established between landscape components and arthropods
presence. Staphylinidae abundance and richness were higher in more diverse landscape.
Concerning other taxa, each order appears to be differently influenced by the landscape’s


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Towards integrated assessment of natural pest control as part of a set
of ecosystem services: the Landscape IMAGES approach

Walter A. H. Rossing, Jeroen C. J. Groot

Abstract: Natural pest control is an ecosystem service that appears to be affected by ecosystem
characteristics at spatial scales from field to landscape. Changes in land use and land
management at the field level to enhance pest control depend on a small number of decision
makers. In contrast, changes at the landscape level involve multiple stakeholders, multiple
objectives and biophysical interactions among multiple scales. Natural pest control is then one of
a set of ecosystem services that needs to be addressed simultaneously, often in a negotiation
setting. Science has a role to play by bringing together knowledge that informs decision making
based on insight in trade-offs and win-win situations, and the associated land use patterns. To
enable such an integrated assessment of ecosystem services an approach is needed that can deal
with multiple scales, multiple objectives and multi-stakeholder settings. Here we describe an
integrated, spatially explicit land use assessment approach named Landscape IMAGES. We
illustrate the approach for a case study with spatially implicit and spatially explicit indicators and
describe how natural pest control can be accommodated.


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Seasonal dynamics of the vertical distribution of arthropods in a wheat field
Alexandr Semenov

Abstract: We conducted regular collections of arthropods from three vertically separated levels
of grassy vegetation (upper, middle, low) during a growing season. For each level different
sampling methods were used. Entomological nets allowed capturing of arthropods from the
apical parts of plants. Collection of arthropod communities from the middle level was performed
with special plastic containers. For the capture of arthropods active in the lower grassy level we
used pitfall traps. Species composition and number of insects in each of the levels changed during
the growing season. In the middle and upper levels an increase in the total number of arthropods
was noticed which was probably associated with an increase in the size of the plants and the
development of generative organs. At the low level the total number of arthropods collected did
not significantly change during the season.


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Variation partitioning of landscape structure on arable plant communities at field scale
X. Solé-Senan, A. Juárez, J. Recasens, J. Torra, A. Royo, J. A. Conesa

Abstract: Arable plants communities suffered dramatic declines in the last decades due to the
intensification in farming practices. Impacts of changes in arable management and land-use
increases generally involved a local simplification of landscape structure. We investigated the
effect of landscape structure and complexity on the species composition of arable plant
communities. We characterized landscape structure in a circle with 1km radius by the percentage
of natural vegetation, the shape index of the patches and the perimeter-area ratio and its influence
on species assemblages at field scale. Species composition was related to the landscape metrics
using Redundancy Analysis (RDA). Variation partitioning was used to characterize the partial
effects of landscape structure on the arable community.
According to our findings, landscape structure effects on arable plants communities at field
scale are limited to the field boundaries whereas in the field edges and field centres agricultural
management hides landscape structure effects.


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Effect of organic farming and reduced tillage activity on functional diversity
and density of spiders

Hafiz Muhammad Tahir, Muhammad Khalid Mukhtar

Abstract: Spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) are one of the most abundant natural predators in agroecosystems
throughout the world. They have great potential to suppress insect pests of
agricultural crops. In the present study the effect of two different management practices (i.e.,
organic farming and reduce tillage activity) on the functional diversity and density of spiders was
investigated during the wheat cropping seasons 2009-2010. There was no difference in species
diversity in organic and untilled fields compared to the tilled fields. However, density of spiders
was significantly higher in organic and untilled fields compared to tilled fields. Number of
aphids/tiller in the organic and untilled fields was significantly lower compared to the tilled field.
It is concluded that organic farming and reduced tillage practices are successful techniques to
promote high spider density and is helpful in the natural biological control of aphids.


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Is there a landscape effect on moth pest (H. armigera) abundance
and infestation rate in cotton fields in North Benin?

Noelline Tsafack Menessong, Philippe Menozzi, Thierry Brevault, Marc Deconchat, Annie Ouin

Abstract: Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), a polyphagous moth, is the major cotton pest in
Africa. Larvae feed on bolls, flowers and squares, seriously reducing yield. To reduce the use of
insecticides and to improve the management of this cotton pest, there is a growing interest in
reinforcing the landscape’s suppressive properties. The aim of this study was to determine if
moth abundance and larval infestation differs among landscapes with different composition
(diversity of crops, proportion of bush) to test for a landscape effect on Helicoverpa armigera
abundance during peak infestation. In five cotton fields in four landscapes differing in land cover
(cotton, cotton + maize, cotton + tomatoes, cotton + bush), measurements of larval infestation
were made four times from September 23th to October 18th 2011. Additionally, adult moth
abundance was established using light trapping from September 24 to 1st November in the four
landscapes plus one landscape without any cotton field in the area of the W National Park. Larval
infestation was significantly higher in the fields previously cultivated with tomatoes. Results of
light trapping of moths did not reveal differences among the landscapes except in the landscape
in the W National Park where no moths were trapped. This finding suggests that cotton
infestation by Helicoverpa armigera could be related to the proximity of market gardening.
Subsequent analyses (analytical chemistry and molecular biology) are underway to investigate
this hypothesis.


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Interactions in agroecosystems: a short review
Wladimir B. Tshernyshev, Valentina M. Afonina

Abstract: The interactions in agroecosystems are very complex. Knowledge of these interactions
may be useful for development of new ecological farming methods and for improvement of the
traditional ones. Such approaches would allow crops to be protected without any detriment to
human health and prevent environmental deterioration in contrast to the current situation.
Ecological methods can support the stability of agroecosystems thereby preventing pest
outbreaks development. Regretfully many studies on the interactions in agroecosystems are


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Evaluation of different ground covers to maintain botanical biodiversity in viticulture
Maarten van Helden, Josépha Guenser, Emma Fulchin

Abstract: The plant species richness of vineyard inter-row groundcover can maintain
biodiversity of plants and arthropods, and could improve conservation biocontrol by reducing
pest insect pressure. Five different seed mixtures were tested during two years on a Bordeaux
vineyard plot Château Les Vergnes (Gironde, France). The initial plant composition and its
evolution over time were studied in 2009 (first year after 2008 autumn sowing) and 2010 through
exhaustive botanical monitoring during the growing season (April-July). Large differences were
observed in plant species composition and abundance, even though the existing seed bank seems
of major influence on the species richness. The farmers’ management of the plot (mowing,
machine passing) shows a strong selection pressure on the plant species present in the seed


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Viticulture, landscape and functional biodiversity: agronomy, ecology,
sociology and economy!

Maarten van Helden, Josépha Guenser, Emma Fulchin, Joël Rochard, Benjamin Porte

Abstract: The European Life+ program BIODIVINE focuses on the conservation of general
biodiversity in viticulture landscapes across Europe. Many such landscapes have a long history
and strong dominance of viticulture that has created remarkable landscapes. The conservation of
biodiversity in such landscapes, without impacting the landscape aesthetics and without
constraints for farmers (costs, loss of surface) is challenging. Efficient communication is needed
to convince farmers to adapt new practices. Ecosystem services such as conservation biological
control can be used to convince farmers but supporting data are not always convincing. Better
results can be achieved by focusing primarily on agronomic and economic reasons for landscape
The use of ground cover inside and around plots, hedgerow planting, sowing fallow plots
with fodder crops all have clear agronomic amenities that should stay the primary objective for
the farmer.
Training farmers and personnel, and involving local stakeholders, help to increase
awareness. Finally efficient external communication on landscape actions can be included in
marketing strategies, but care should be taken to avoid greenwashing.


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The suitability of field margin flowers as food source for Chrysoperla lacewings
Paul C. J. van Rijn

Abstract: Lacewings are among the most common natural enemies of pests in arable fields.
Whereas the larvae are voracious predators of aphids and other insects, the adults are depending
on nectar and pollen for survival and reproduction. In this study the suitability of flowers of 16
plant species is examined as food source for the common Chrysoperla carnea with non-choice
survival tests. The results indicate that only umbellifers and other flowers with well exposed
nectaries are suitable as sugar sources, allowing the lacewings to survive for more that 20 days
and to produce eggs. On composites, even those with very short florets, survival and reproduction
was clearly reduced. This indicates that their nectar was probably beyond reach, but that the
pollen allowed the insects to survive longer than without food. Exceptions were composites with
extrafloral nectar, as they allowed lacewings to survive much longer. The results are discussed in
comparison with the results for hoverflies. These laboratory bioassays can, when performed for
key natural enemies, be used to optimize the composition of field margins for the support of
natural pest control.


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Current status and potential future impact of invasive vespid wasps
(Vespula germanica and Polistes dominulus) in South Africa

Ruan Veldtman, Pia Addison, Geoff D. Tribe

Abstract: Two social vespid wasps, Vespula germanica and Polistes dominulus, have now
become naturalised in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, adding to the number of exotic
social insects that now occur in the Fynbos biome. Although both species are known to be
invasive in other countries, up untill now the rate of spread of both species has been rather slow.
Previous work in matching V. germanica’s climatic suitability within South Africa, revealed its
current extent occurs in marginal habitat. However the Coastal Belt of South Africa starting from
about George is much more suitable and could provide a route of invasion into Eastern seaboard
of Africa. Based on the invasive record of both species in other countries, they are both
candidates for eradication. Before the feasibility of eradication can be determined, detailed
current distribution records are required. Here we report on available data on the past and current
distribution of both vespid species, mostly derived from museum records. We also comment on
the likely impact of both species if they were to realize their potential range in South Africa.


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Coleostephus myconis (L.) Rchb.f. role in conservation biological control
in an olive grove from Trás-os-Montes (Portugal)

Maria Villa, Valentim Coelho, José Alberto Pereira, Sónia A. P. Santos and Albino Bento

Abstract: Currently, the management of agricultural habitats to optimize the action of natural
enemies is a form of conservation biological control. In this strategy, the reinforcement of
ecological infrastructures can act as reservoirs for natural enemies, source of alternative
foods/hosts, and can provide shelter. In the olive grove, natural vegetation coverage is
traditionally removed by tillage in order to avoid competition for water between olive trees and
weeds. Nevertheless those plants could have an important role in natural control of crop pests. In
this context, the objective of this work was to study the abundance of arthropods on a
representative herbaceous plant, Coleostephus myconis (L.) Rchb.f., in two olive groves from
Trás-os-Montes (Northeast of Portugal). Fifty C. myconis specimens were weekly and randomly
collected during its flowering period. Afterwards, all arthropods found in the aerial part of the
plant were sorted and identified under binocular microscopes to order or family level. Thirteen
arthropod taxa were found on C. myconis. Abundance and diversity were higher in the Paradela
grove. The most abundant taxa were Aphididae and Thysanoptera. Coleoptera (larvae), Diptera
(larvae) and Lepidoptera (larvae and pupae) orders were also found. Some of the recovered
groups are important predators of olive pests which may have importance essentially during the
development of the anthophagous generation of the olive moth, Prays oleae Bern.


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Provision of ecological infrastructures to increase pollinators
and other beneficial organisms in rainfed crops in Central Spain

Elisa Viñuela, Ángeles Adán, Joaquín Rodríguez, Sara Hernando, José Dorado, César Fernandez-Quintanilla, Germán Canomanuel & Alberto Fereres

Abstract: In sustainable intensive agriculture, the biodiversity of monoculture fields can be
increased by managing the field margins to provide ecological infrastructures that serve as
refuges and resources for beneficial organisms (pollinators and natural enemies). In the present
work we summarize two years of field trials following the goal to increase biodiversity of
beneficial fauna in a barley field in Central Spain by sowing different herbaceous mixtures in the
field margins. The presence of arthropods visiting flowers on plots sown with different types of
seed mixtures and unsown natural flora (control plot) was compared by visual sampling every
week between April and June. The results showed that a combination of herbaceous big-size
seeds was the most successful mixture emerging under our experimental conditions and achieved
a higher number of visits of beneficial arthropods than the unsown natural vegetation.


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Protocol for assessing bird abundance and richness in vineyards:
a case study in Penedès area

Francesco Xavier, Macià Valverde, Ignasi Torre, Josep R. Torrentó Marselles

Abstract: Bird abundance and richness were evaluate during the breeding period of 2011 in
Penedès wine appellation of origin area, Barcelona (Spain) using an adapted point counts method
in different vineyard landscapes matrix with different habitat composition and complexity. It was
found that bird communities were mainly affected by habitat composition. Species richness was
higher in vineyards with a more complex structure landscape.


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The field margin vegetation as a bridge for the predatory mite (Phytoseiidae)
migration into strawberry plantations

Zbigniew T. Dąbrowski, Jakub Garnis

Abstract: The aim of the research was to describe the species composition of plant groups on
field margins of selected strawberry plantations, and to record which species have influence on
the preservation of beneficial mites. The samples from selected herbaceous plants, shrubs and
trees were collected from June to the beginning of September. Field observations carried out on
15 plantations in four regions of Poland showed variation in the abundance of predatory
phytoseiid mites on various plant species grown in the surroundings of strawberry crop. Some
edge effect was observed. Enhancing the role of natural enemies should fill the gap created by
present restrictive use of pesticides in strawberry crops. The management of pests on soft fruit
plantations affected phytoseiid diversity both in the field and on surrounding plants.


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