Does intensive crop management affect the diversity and abundance of species in fruit crops in Quebec, Canada?


Abstract: Several studies have shown that more diversified farms have equal or greater profitability than less diversified farms, using fewer chemical inputs. Environmental services are also improved in diversified facilities. This project aims to determine the impact of intensive crop management on the abundance and diversity of phytophagous and natural enemies for three agricultural systems: vineyards, apple orchards, and raspberry. Nine sites for each crop were selected. Three diversity gradients were selected based on crop diversity on each farm: 1) low diversity, 2) medium diversity, and 3) high diversity. Pitfall and yellow bowl traps have been installed to track entomofauna. The collection was carried out from May to September for two years. Intensive crop management affected the three fruit crops differently. Raspberry presented the highest diversified landscape, lowest pesticide input and highest entomofauna abundance, while apple orchards presented the opposite. A tendency with lower arthropod captures in simplified landscapes was insinuated for vineyards and orchards, while an overall increase in natural services was observed in heterogeneous landscapes. Further analyses are needed to show the advantages that can be obtained by promoting crop diversification within an agricultural enterprise

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