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IOBC-WPRS Bulletin Vol. 56, 2010


IOBC-WPRS Bulletin Vol. 56, 2010

Working Group "Landscape Management for Functional Biodiversity".
Preceedings of the meeting at Cambridge (UK), 22 June - 1 July, 2010.
Edited by: John Holland, Bärbel Gerowitt, Maarten van Helden, Walter Rossing, Michael Poehling, Wopke van der Werf, Andrew Ferguson and Claire Lavigne.
ISBN 978-92-9067-230-2 [vi + 146 pp.]


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Agroecosystem management and spatial organization of arthropod communities
Valentina M. Afonina, Wladimir B. Tshernyshev, Anton V. Sujazov, Rimma R. Seyfulina, Alexander V. Timokhov, Olga V. Solovchenko

Abstract: We determined the levels of similarity between the complexes of plants, spiders, all
beetles and carabid beetles inhabiting different biotopes of an agroecosystem: forest belts, field
margins and the arable field (at 10, 200 and 400m from the edge). Geobotanical analysis,
entomological netting and pitfall traps were used. Boundaries between plant communities were
clearly expressed whereas arthropod communities were not confined usually to a certain biotope.
The catches of all arthropods by pitfall traps in different biotopes were more similar than the
catches by entomological net. Differences of all communities within the field were minimal but
the influence of adjoining biotopes was obvious. The difference of spider complexes in different
biotopes was greater than this difference between beetles complexes. All differences increased
according to the distance from one collecting place to another.


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Ground beetle dispersal: how to bridge the scales?
Bas Allema, Walter Rossing, Wopke van der Werf, Dine Volker, Juliette Marsan, Eveliene Steingröver, Joop van Lenteren

Abstract: Beneficial arthropods that provide biological control of aphids or weed seeds use a
variety of habitats in agricultural landscapes. Information on the movement behaviour of these
arthropods between these habitats is needed to develop conservation strategies that sustain pest
suppression in agricultural landscapes. Models for movement behaviour may help to understand
and explore biocontrol functions. As measurements of behaviour at the landscape scale are
technically difficult to make, measurements are often made at smaller scales. It is then necessary
to upscale to larger scales, using movement models. Here we present a case study on such
upscaling. The first results indicate that upscaling from small scales to large scales, using a
correlated random movement model, may result in errors. An alternative approach, to be tested in
further work, is to fit the movement model directly to the large scale data.


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Wind born pollen effect on arthropod populations in agricultural fields in the northern Negev, Israel
Eitan Amiel, Phyllis G. Weintraub, Yael Lubin

Abstract: One of the alternatives for chemical pesticides currently being developed is the
improvement and/or conservation of the natural biological control services provided by the
agricultural field, a practice known as conservation biological control. In and around agricultural
fields there are many predators and parasitoids which provide ecological services as natural
enemies of pest species. In this research plants providing wind-borne pollen are used in a habitat
management scheme to enhance natural enemy diversity in desert agriculture to achieve pest
control. Pollen providing plants will be used in two systems – orchard crops and perennial herb
fields – and total pest and predator populations will be monitored.


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Farming practices and ecosystem services
Georg Andersson, Henrik G. Smith, Maj Rundlöf

Abstract only


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Engineering arable landscapes to balance the pros and cons of weeds
Graham Begg, Nick Birch, Pietro Iannetta, Mark Young, Geoff Squire

Abstract: Using a metacommunity model of uncultivated plant populations in an arable
landscape the positive contribution of source-sink dynamics to species coexistence is
demonstrated. The source-sink mechanism, which relies on spatial variation in habitat quality,
presents an opportunity to promote arable diversity by managing the spatial component of
cropping patterns.


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What happens to the predator Atheta coriaria when inundatively released in the field
for biological control of cabbage root fly?

Jude Bennison, Mike Lole, Tom Pope, Heather Maher, Kerry Maulden, Martyn Watling

Abstract: The predatory staphylinid beetle, Atheta coriaria, can be reared easily and cheaply on
turkey feed. This creates opportunities for inundative release of the predator at relatively low cost
for biological control of pests with ground-dwelling life stages. A. coriaria was mass-released
into a commercial cauliflower crop, in a field trial to investigate its potential for biological control
of cabbage root fly (CRF) (Delia radicum). Significantly fewer dead plants due to CRF damage
and higher root weights of surviving plants were recorded in plots treated with A. coriaria or with
chlorpyrifos or spinosad than in untreated control plots. If use of A. coriaria for biological control
of CRF is developed for commercial uptake, its potential interactions with other immigrant and
resident beetles should be investigated. Initial data on beetle activity in the trial field was
collected and these preliminary results are discussed.


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Predicting the time to colonization of Diadegma semiclausum using spatial dispersal kernels
F. J. J. A. Bianchi, N. A. Schellhorn, W. van der Werf

Abstract: The time at which natural enemies colonize crop fields is an important determinant of
their ability to suppress pest populations. This time depends on the distance between source and
sink habitats in the landscape and on the dispersal behaviour of the natural enemy. Here we
estimate the time to colonization of sink habitats from a distant source habitat using a simulation
model that was parameterized with mark-capture data of Diadegma semiclausum. Dispersal
behaviour was modelled with spatial probability distributions of dispersal distance, so-called
dispersal kernels. We show that dispersal kernels that receive similar support from the data can
produce a wide range of arrival times. We also demonstrate that the time to colonization increases
more than proportionally with the distance between source and sink. This result underscores the
importance of proximity of source habitats of natural enemies for early colonization and a large
impact of natural enemies in crop fields.


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The mainstreaming of biodiversity and conservation stewardship at The Yalumba Wine Company, Australia
Cecil Stephen Camilleri

Abstract: In 1995 The Yalumba Wine Company commenced a structured approach to sustainability
and environmental management, which in 2003 culminated in a doctoral thesis authored by this
writer (Camilleri 2003). Yalumba continued its efforts to mainstream biodiversity as part of its
Commitment to Sustainable Winemaking’ programme and sought to identify whether the
programme was delivering on its commitment by undertaking an ex-post strategic assessment
(Camilleri 2008a). The strategic follow-up indicated Yalumba needed to do better in
communicating with the principal members of its value chain in order to effectively engage them in
its sustainability programme.


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Maize weed communities composition in a highly anthropized landscape: which
vegetation response variables and landscape descriptors?

Stefano Carlesi, Gionata Bocci, Anna-Camilla Moonen, Paolo Frumento, Paolo Bàrberi

Abstract: Few scientific guidelines are available for the definition of parameters to be taken into
account in studies aiming at determining the spatial interactions between weeds and their
environment. The choice of both landscape descriptors and weed response variables and the scale at
which they should be measured is important. The objective of this study was to define a
methodology to support the choice of landscape descriptors and weed response variables and the
spatial scale at which their interactions occur. We assumed that weed communities respond to
landscape parameters based on the various ecological and biological characteristics of the
component species. A case study in a highly anthropized landscape along the Tuscan and Ligurian
coastline is presented, with the main aim to determine how land abandonment and urbanisation
affect in-field weed communities. We selected a variety of landscape descriptors for (a) field
margins, (b) landscape structure and (c) landscape composition. Landscape structure and
composition were considered in circles of various radii (100, 250, 500, 1000 and 1500m around the
centroid of each field). The sensitivity of each weed response variable depended on the scale at
which the landscape descriptors were measured and on the characteristics of the field margins. This
study shows that the selection of weed response variables, landscape descriptors and the scale at
which data are collected are extremely important and may considerably affect results.


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Entomophagous insects, dedicated to the study of their diversity, their effectiveness
as biocontrol agents and of habitats potentials, a case study in several french areas

Charlotte Dor, Julie Maillet-Mezeray

Abstract only


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Different habitats in arable land and Fagopyrum esculentum: their influence on aphid antagonists
Lisa Eggenschwiler, Rémi Duflot, Katja Jacot

Abstract: Wildflower strips, improved field margins, rotational fallows and conservation
headlands are part of the Swiss agri-environment scheme. These ecological infrastructures were
developed to enhance the diversity of fauna and flora in arable landscapes. However, it would be
favourable if attracted beneficial arthropods significantly reduced pest infestations in nearby
crops. The aim of our project is to adapt existing ecological infrastructures to create more tailored
ones for the promotion of aphid antagonists.
In two field experiments we tested the importance of Fagopyrum esculentum, which is part of
several seed mixes for ecological infrastructures on arable land, for aphid antagonists (syrphids,
coccinellids, chrysopids). In the first experiment F. esculentum was placed in pots into different
habitats (grassy margin, hedgerow margin, winter wheat) and compared to the existing
vegetation. In the second experiment aphid antagonists were counted in a strip sown with F.
, an improved field margin, a grassy margin and a hedgerow margin. The first
experiment showed that independent of the habitat F. esculentum attracted more aphid
antagonists than the existing vegetation. As F. esculentum is early-flowering it is a promising
plant to support the build-up of antagonist populations. Many syrphids, coccinellids and
chrysopid eggs were even found when F. esculentum was placed within winter wheat fields. In
the second experiment most syrphids were counted on F. esculentum and in the improved field
margin whereas the highest number of coccinellids occurred in the improved field margin. F.
offered the best egg-laying sites for chrysopids. Thus open, flower-rich habitats seem
to be most attractive for aphid antagonists.


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Landscape studies for conservation biological control research: status and future needs.
A meta-review from the EU NoE project ENDURE

Andrew W. Ferguson, Oscar Alomar

Abstract: A meta-review of 90 review papers published in the period 1989-2009 was used to
assess the status of research into landscape management for conservation biological control
(CBC) and identify gaps in the science. Landscape scale studies comprised 19% of reports of
CBC research and were associated with some of the best evidence for promoting natural enemies.
However, 46% of reviews considered more studies were needed on the effect of landscape-scale
interactions. A lack of assessment of impacts on pests and crop damage was seen as a barrier to
progress. A common approach to sampling methodologies would increase the value of individual


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Perennial field margins with combined agronomical and ecological benefits for
vegetable rotation schemes

David R. George, Patricia Croft, Phil Northing, Felix L. Wäckers

Abstract: A 5 year project is underway in the UK which is looking to build upon previous
research to combine the biodiversity and pest-control benefits of perennial field margins across a
horticultural rotation, providing growers with a direct economic benefit in addition to expected
subsidies from stewardship schemes. Key to the success of this project is the selection of
flowering plant species for inclusion in experimental field margins that will provide multiple
benefits in terms of promoting functional agro-biodiversity. For this purpose a combination of
margin plant species have been selected that ensure supply of nectar, pollen, bird food and shelter
and alternative prey for natural enemies. This paper focuses on the plant selection process used to
formulate a suitable margin seed mix. An outline of the project as a whole, including longer-term
aims and objectives, is also provided.


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Analyses of interactions between the landscape and natural pear psylla antagonists –
Results of a study at the German fruit growing region "Lake Constance"

Burhard Golla, Martin Trautmann

Abstract: In order to study the influences of the landscape on orchards pests, the areas around
pear orchards were investigated. An inventory of landscape elements was made and presence and
quantity of natural enemies was assessed. Data were analysed to whether the quantity of small
landscape elements and land use were correlated with the quantity of pests or natural enemies.
The study was conducted in different European regions within the Network of Excellence
ENDURE (European Network for Durable Exploitation of Crop Protection Strategies). Results of
the studies are intended to be used to optimise integrated pest management. Results from the Lake
Constance region are presented here.


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Integrated pest management at the landscape scale: tracing the tale of cotton IPM in
the San Joaquin Valley of Central California

P. B. Goodell, K. Patterson-Lynn

Abstract: Lygus hesperus (Knight) is a key pest in many crops and is hosted on multiple weed
and native vegetation in the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) of Central California. For over 45 years,
the cropping landscape has been recognized as a key component in managing this insect pest in
cotton. Over the past 20 years, the acreage of cotton has contracted by 80%. As the cotton
landscape has become increasingly fragmented, more crops that serve as sources of L. hesperus
have frequently come into contact with cotton, creating new IPM challenges. We have studied the
change using a variety of approaches to estimate the change in landscape structure, the proximity
of cotton to sources and sinks and are developing estimates of the “strength” of crops to act as
sources for this pest.


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Measuring the impact of crop management on crop diseases, weeds and insect pests
at the regional scale

Marie Gosme, Maguie de Villemandy, Mathieu Bazot, Damien Marchand, Marie-Helene Jeuffroy

Abstract: Organic farming still represents a small part of agricultural land in France but is
developing fast due to government incentives and a growing demand. However, it is unknown
whether it would favour or reduce pests and diseases at the landscape scale. Our objective was to
measure effects of crop management in a given field and neighbouring fields on pests’ dynamics,
through surveys of farmers’ fields in a small region. The cropping practices presented a certain
degree of diversity but a hierarchical classification of the fields gave no indication of strong
differences between different types of cropping systems, except the obvious separation between
organic and conventional farming. Wheat fields were classified according to their management
(organic vs. conventional) and management of neighbouring fields (at least one organic vs. all
conventional). Leaf blotch was significantly higher in conventional fields, but there was no effect
of crop management in the adjacent fields. For powdery mildew, the high variability between
plots led to non-significant effects. The organic plots harboured significantly more weeds with
higher diversity than conventional plots. The effect on weeds of having at least one organic plot
in the neighbourhood was inconsistent between observation dates. Significantly fewer aphids
occurred in the organic plots than in the conventional plots, and having at least one organic plot in
the neighbourhood significantly decreased the number of aphids.


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Multi-function agricultural biodiversity and agri-environmental schemes
in Australian agricultural landscapes

Geoff M. Gurr

Abstract: This paper synthesises recent results from work on enhancing biological control of
pests in a range of Australian agricultural systems in which forms of agri-environmental schemes
are used. A key aspect of using biodiversity-related effects for pest management is that land
managers are concerned with multiple issues and tend to be unwilling to institute changes to land
management specifically to achieve sustainable pest suppression. It is therefore important that
those involved in developing ecologically-based pest management strategies promote them as
part of a suite of benefits that justify the effort involved. For example, work in Australia has
demonstrated that biological control can be enhanced by use of ‘shelterbelts’. These rows of trees
are traditionally used to protect crops and livestock from extreme weather but have become more
popular to manage the hydrology of catchments and avoid soil salinity. Such forms of farm
forestry - and agri-environmental schemes in general – are likely to become more lucrative as
payments are made for carbon sequestration. Biological control workers can ‘piggy back’ on the
ecosystem services provided by farm tree plantings by encouraging use of mixed tree species and
the presence of understorey shrubs and groundcover vegetation to enhance parasitoids and
predators. This paper also reports on the range of methods being used to elucidate how landscape
characteristics can influence the dynamics of pest: natural enemy interactions and how these can
be used to better manage pests. These include (i) chemical ecology of induced plant defences to
direct natural enemy movement between vegetation types (ii) rare earth and dye marking to track
arthropod movement and (ii) geo-spatial analysis to understand the importance of connectivity.
Results are presented from a study in which non-crop vegetation harbours an insect-transmitted
plant pathogen illustrating that vegetation biodiversity can have negative as well as positive
consequences for plant protection.


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The Farm4Bio project: investigating the relationship between uncropped land and
beneficial invertebrates

John M. Holland, Tom Birkett, John Simper, Helen Martin, Jonathan Storkey

Abstract: The overall project’s aim is to determine whether management of uncropped land for
biodiversity on conventional arable farms can achieve significant and measurable increases in
biodiversity, that are at least equivalent to those attained on organic farms. The proportion and
type of land usage within and surrounding the 1km2 study areas is also being investigated for a
range of organisms that include natural enemies of pests for which results are presented. The
numbers of pests and their natural enemies within grass margins were positively related to the
proportion of arable land in the 3 x 3km surrounding the study area. Numbers of hoverflies were
similar in a range of sown non-crop habitats, but lower in grass margins and natural regeneration.
The findings indicate that sown wildlife habitats can support natural enemies but landscape usage
is also a key driver.


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Response of weed flora to large-scale landscape factors
Maria John, Bärbel Gerowitt

Abstract: Weed communities were investigated in a large-scale agricultural region in northern
Germany. Multivariate analysis was used to determine how species richness and weed
composition respond to landscape structure at different spatial scales (namely 100m–2500m).
Records of species numbers were accompanied by high variance. There was a significant
correlation between landscape structure and species richness. However, the impact of landscape
complexity on species richness was relative low and mostly scale independent. Landscape
characteristics within a 100m circle provided significantly the best explanation of species richness
on conventional plots. The percentage of explained variation in species composition through
landscape variables ranged from 3% to 5%. Local site effects explained a considerably higher
percentage of variation in species composition. Ellenberg indicator values and soil type explained
14% of variation. These results indicate that it is difficult to relate weed species communities to
landscape characteristics if the landscape is relatively homogenous and large-scaled. Nevertheless
there seems to be a stronger effect of landscape characteristics on species if diversity exists at a
small spatial scale.


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The effect of landscape composition on host-parasitoid interactions in Brassica crops
Mattias Jonsson, Hannah L. Buckley, Bradley S. Case, Roddy J. Hale, Steve D. Wratten, Raphael K. Didham

Abstract only


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Parameter harmonisation for calculating landscape configuration effects on weed communities
Anna-Camilla Moonen, David Bohan, Sandrine Petit, Bruno Chauvel, Lisa Eggenschwiler, Stefan Otto, Burkhard Golla

Abstract: Within the Network of Excellence ENDURE (European Network for Durable
Exploitation of Crop Protection Strategies) a group of weed scientists have explored the
possibility of re-analysing existing weed community databases for possible surrounding landscape
configuration effects. Existing databases were characterised and the weed measurement and
landscape metrics important for such analyses were selected. In the next phase all partners tested
relevant hypotheses on their database, following agreed guidelines. Results from these case
studies confirmed the importance of incorporating ecological and biological characteristics of the
weed flora. They also confirmed the need to define landscape metrics which express landscape
mosaic structure and land-use diversity at relatively small scales, ranging from directly-adjacent
to the field (i.e. margin types) up to landscape metrics about 200m from the field. This work is
intended to stimulate other weed scientists to repeat this exercise on their own databases in order
to continue the discussion on parameter definition for testing of landscape effects on weed


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Conservation biological control at the landscape level: measuring and modelling
Sandrine Petit, Claire Lavigne, Andrew Ferguson, Philippe Tixier, David Bohan, Ian Denholm, Stefan Otto, Oscar Alomar, Andrea Veres, Lisa Eggenschwiler, Gionata Bocci, Camilla Moonen, Burkhard Golla

Abstract: The incorporation of landscape management into Conservation Biological Control
(CBC) strategies is a priority area of research but is hindered by a lack of harmonisation of the
means to describe and measure the effectiveness of CBC, the organisms under focus and the
landscape. This paper provides a set of recommendations that represents the consensus amongst
experts of the ENDURE network. The most important data values that were identified were: pest
population level; natural enemy population or % parasitism/predation; crop damage; estimate of
mobility of study organisms (dispersal function) and non-explicit spatial measurements such as
the proportion of the landscape offering resources and the connectivity between resource patches.
For all these measurements, careful consideration should be given to the appropriate spatial and
temporal scale of assessment. For analysis, we advocate an iterative use of modeling tools,
particularly individual-based models, and statistical approaches: the former to understand
mechanisms underlying the population dynamics of pests and their natural enemies in landscapes
and the latter to characterize the observed patterns of these populations in a given landscape.


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Identification of resource bottlenecks in agro-ecosystems and quantifying their impact
on biological pest control

Mark Ramsdena, Rosa Menendeza, Simon Leatherb, Felix Wäckers

Abstract: Insect predators and parasitoids can provide valuable ecosystem services by acting as
biological pest control agents in agro-ecosystems. The natural enemies of pest species often
require a greater diversity of resources than the crops themselves provide, and in conventional
farm management these beneficial species may be compromised by lack of floral resources,
alternative prey, or suitable overwintering sites. While previous studies have shown that field
margin management can influence the population dynamics of beneficial insects, the particular
mechanisms involved remain unclear. The study aims to disentangle the mechanisms contributing
to the supporting of beneficial species population, and provide quantitative data to assist in the
design of optimum integrated management prescriptions.


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Influence of crop management and landscape diversity on Meligethes aeneus
and its biological control

Adrien Rusch, Muriel Valantin-Morison, Jean-Pierre Sarthou, Jean Roger- Estrade

Abstract: Pest management strategies have traditionally focused on the field scale and often rely
on the use of broad-spectrum pesticides. Recent studies have pointed out the importance of taking
into account larger scales to understand pest and natural enemy population dynamics. Enhancing the
natural regulation function in agroecosystems therefore appears to be a promising way to increase
crop production sustainability.
In this study, we examined the relative influence of crop management and landscape context on
a serious winter oilseed rape (OSR) pest (Meligethes aeneus) and its parasitoids. Landscape
variables were assessed in 8 different buffers ranging from 250m to 2000m radius in order to
identify the most relevant spatial scale. We used multimodel inference methods to identify and rank
the relative importance of the explanatory variables. The most relevant spatial scale and predictors
were determined examining their relative importance based on the sum of Akaike weights.
We found that large buffers (from 1500m to 2000m) were the most adapted scales to explain
pest abundance and subsequent crop damage. Proportion of forest is positively correlated with
pollen beetle abundance and injuries and is the most significant explanatory variable. Nitrogen
nutrition index appears to have an important influence on crop damage, with high nitrogen content
plants supporting the lowest proportions of destroyed buds. Non-crop areas and the proximity to
previous year oilseed rape crop in the 250m buffer around the fields appear to be the most important
variables for explaining parasitism rates of pollen beetle larvae. These results are discussed in
relation to the design of innovative crop protection strategies.


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The role of 'low-input' agri-environmental schemes in the enhancement
of functional biodiversity of Hungarian arable fields

Ferenc Samu, Dóra Neidert, Éva Szita, Kinga Fetykó, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, András Horváth

Abstract: The Mezőföld region in Hungary typically consists of intensive arable land which
dominates large areas on the loess plateaus of the region, and low-input meadows in mosaic with
wooded areas which are typical for the incised loess valleys. We carried out a landscape
experiment in seven 5x5 km quadrates in the region. The quadrates contained different
proportions of arable land and low-input meadow areas, thus represented a land-use intensity
gradient. We studied the exchange of functional biodiversity between these habitat types at a
series of spatial scales. We regarded spider assemblages of the sampled plots as a model group
that represents broader functional biodiversity. Samples were taken for three years in two cereal
field plots and in one meadow plot per landscape quadrate. We studied the effect of the presence
of different habitat types in the landscape neighbourhood of the plots on spider species richness,
abundance and community composition. For spiders in the meadow plots the presence of arable
habitats had in general a negative effect, while for spiders in the cereal plots the presence of
meadows had a positive effect after controlling for local environmental variables and taking into
account spatial effect. This analysis had been performed five times for each plot to take into
account habitat types within five different radii between 50-1000m. The strongest effects were
observed for habitats within the 100m and 600m circles both for meadow and cereal plot spider
assemblages. These and further studies into the effective distances of interacting habitat types
may help to optimize the spatial distribution of agri-environmental schemes.


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Management of habitat diversity on arable farmland to maximise control of crop pests
by communities of beneficial organisms

Martin T. Torrance, Jason Baverstock, Helen Martin, Judith K. Pell

Abstract: The effect of habitat diversity on beneficial insects is being assessed in order to
optimise the management of the arable landscape to improve pest suppression. The abundance of
aphids and their natural enemies was assessed by Vortis sampling on uncropped and cropped land
within 100 ha study areas on twelve farms in the east of England. Eight of these farms had
additional sown covers established on them, either as strips or blocks and in two quantities, 1.5
and 6ha. All samples were taken in July 2008. The new covers comprised natural regeneration
(NR), floristically enhanced grass (FEG), insect rich cover (IRC) and winter bird cover (WBC).
Within the newly sown covers the total number of natural enemies was greatest in the FEG,
although parasitoid numbers were greatest in the WBC in which flowering fodder radish provided
a supply of nectar at that time. Although parasitoids were equally abundant in strips and blocks,
the total number of natural enemies was greatest in strips, perhaps reflecting variability in
mobility of different taxa. We hypothesised that the total number of natural enemies would be
greater in the new sown habitats than in other uncropped land areas, but this was not the case in
2008 and may have been because the covers were newly established that spring. Further data
from 2009 and 2010 will aid interpretation. There were fewer aphids in crops on farms with the
additional sown covers compared to farms without additional covers. While we hypothesise that
this could have been as a result of enhanced enemy activity prior to the date we sampled, and
associated with the presence of the experimental sown covers, we will only be able to understand
this more fully by evaluating additional through-season samples that were made on a sub-set of
the farms and data from subsequent years. Here we have presented preliminary interpretations
based on available data for 2008 only. Far more robust analysis and interpretation will be possible
when we are able to include data from 2009 and 2010.


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May ecosystem sustainability be influenced by carnivorous carabid beetles –
inhabitants of ground surface?

Wladimir B. Tshernyshev, Valentina M. Afonina, Andrey N. Semenov, Yaroslav A. Terehov

Abstract: Carabid beetles of many species are very active and abundant predators. Analysis of
their intestinal content shows that they can eat arthropods inhabiting the grass layer (hortobionts).
There are many important pests among hortobionts. However the carnivorous carabid beetles
usually hunt at the soil surface and it is not clear how these beetles can reach inhabitants at grass
level. Analysis of special literature has shown that hortobiont pests only seldomly go down.
Likewise the inhabitants of ground level (herpetobionts) are not usually able to climb the grass.
With the help of plastic open containers put on the soil surface between grass stems we have
found that about 200-300 specimens of hortobiont arthropods fall down onto 1m² of the soil
surface per day. Such arthropods may serve as a food for carnivorous beetles – herpetobionts.
Influence of these predators on ecosystem sustainability is questionable.


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Arthropod biodiversity monitoring using RBA techniques in viticulture
Maarten van Helden, Josépha Guenser, Emma Fulchin

Abstract: Wine producing areas often contain a rather high percentage of ‘non-productive’
interstitial space that could be managed in favour of biodiversity. Wine growers are often
interested in biodiversity since they presume that conservation biological control can contribute to
pest management. When farmscaping measures are taken the expected increase in biodiversity
over time should be monitored. There are few clear practical indications available for farmers on
how to manage the landscape of a farm in favour of biodiversity.
We tested the Rapid Biodiversity Assessment method (RBA) which consists of trapping
arthropods (using a pitfall and an aerial interception trap) followed by the identification up to
order level and then of ‘morphospecies’ (visually different individuals are presumed to be
different species). The method is not 100% sound for a taxonomist but it allows quick and easy
measurement of general biodiversity, which can be done by non-experienced volunteers, reducing
costs and increasing efficiency. Morphospecies richness and overall abundance can easily be
measured and compared among sites, habitats and years.


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Modeling and valuating the effects of landscape management on the ecosystem
service of biological pest control – a spatial dynamic perspective

Wopke van der Werf

Abstract: Biological control of crop pests is affected by a broad range of organisms which need a
variety of resources in the crop and non-crop elements in the landscape to complete their life
cycles. The effect of enemies on the population dynamics of pests depends on enemy density and
diversity, and is critically affected by spatial and temporal scales. Recent studies illustrate how
models can help to bridge those scales and quantify: (1) the relationship between sink-source
distance in the landscape and time of colonization; (2) the relationship between time of
colonization and enemy impact on pest population dynamics; (3) the relationship between enemy
impacts, crop damage, and economic loss. Such models help to predict the effect of landscape and
crop management on the effectiveness of ecosystem services. They are indispensible tools for
integrating information across spatial and temporal scales, and translate ecological thinking into
economic valuation.


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The suitability of field margin flowers as food source for zoophagous hoverflies
Paul C. J. van Rijn, Felix L. Wäckers

Abstract: Hoverflies with zoophagous larvae are among the most common natural enemies of
pests in Dutch arable fields. Their effectiveness is partly limited by the availability of nectar and
pollen for the adults. In this study we examined the suitability of flowers of ca. 30 plant species
as food source for the common Episyrphus balteatus, both with choice tests and with non-choice
survival tests. Many common field margin flowers appear to be unsuitable, as they do not allow
the hoverflies to survive up to their reproductive age. The results can well be explained by flower
morphology: only flowers with nectar available at a depth of less than 2mm are suitable. Choice
tests indicate that the hoverflies mainly select flowers with accessible nectar. Moreover, field
studies showed that field margins with a higher proportion of flowers with accessible nectar
attract higher numbers of zoophagous hoverflies. These results stress the importance of laboratory
bioassays for selecting the right plants for functional field margins.


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A literature review on impacts of landscapes characteristics on densities of pests
and on their regulation by natural enemies

Andrea Veres, Sandrine Petit, Cyrille Conord, Claire Lavigne

Abstract: We performed a literature review on the impact of large-scale landscape composition
on the abundance of pests or conservation biological control (CBC) effectiveness, measured in
terms of parasitism or predation rates. We located 28 studies and 77 independent cases published
between the years 1993-2008. Pests considered in these cases were mostly Lepidoptera,
Hemiptera and Coleoptera. A large number of cases reported significant landscape effects but the
only significant tendency was that of increased CBC or lesser pest abundance with increasing non
cultivated landscape area around sampling points.


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Innovative methods for measuring Orius spp. (Anthocoridae) abundance at a landscape scale
Andrea Veres, Attila Kotan, Kinga Fetyko, Szilvia Orosz, Ferenc Toth

Abstract: This study aimed at finding an appropriate method to measure abundance in the
landscape of Orius, a biocontrol agent against thrips. Such measure would indeed provide an
assessment for the potential of the conservation biological control of thrips species for
greenhouse sweet pepper producers. Greenhouse sweet pepper was sampled 3 times during the
season in 2005, while Orius larva, nymph and adult abundances in the landscape was measured
once on poison hemlock (June), on maize silk (July), and finally in spider web pockets in the
same maize fields (August). Orius abundance could be estimated in the landscape with these
methods, which were easy to standardize and independent from local variability (like local
vegetation). If we assume that, for a given date, the younger populations are situated at larger
distances from the overwintering sites, we may conclude from the observed pattern of the
individuals that the landscape may provide highly suitable overwintering sites in the south-east
part of the study area. Orius spp. are highly mobile and generalist predators that use both
flowering cultivated and non cultivated habitats. The second generation may therefore be highly
abundant in the whole landscape by the end of August in such an extensively managed region.


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Spatial ecology of Cosmopolites sordidus in banana field landscapes
Fabrice Vinatier, Pierre-François Duyck, Grégory Mollot, Philippe Tixier

Abstract: We applied a comprehensive approach to understanding the spatial epidemiology of
Cosmopolites sordidus in banana fields and to design of landscape strategies in order to minimize
population levels and spread. We integrated different levels of complexity, from individual traits
to the whole population, from the field to the landscape scale. To tackle this complexity, we
linked experimental measures, statistical analysis and modelling tools. The originality of the
approach lies in the iterative use of these different methods, usually applied separately.


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Managing weed seed predation in arable fields
P. R. Westerman, B. Baraibar, D. Deadlow, M. Liebman

Abstract: Weed seed mortality due to predation can have a strong regulatory effect on weed
population dynamics and is therefore potentially important as a bio-control option for weeds.
Weed seed predation is maximal when there is full spatiotemporal overlap in the occurrence of
seeds and the activity patters of seed predators. Crop management influences seed shed and seed
burial, and could be used to increase seed availability on the soil surface. Weeds, and thus weed
seeds, occur in patches that differ in density and quality. Two examples illustrate that seed
predators responded slowly to seed patches, resulting in inversely density dependence, which
favours the persistence of weeds in patches.


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