Does land abandonment affect soil-dwelling predator abundances in a Mediterranean olive grove agroecosystem?


Abstract: Land abandonment is spreading across Europe, and the Mediterranean basin is no
exception. The effects of this phenomenon on agriculture-associated biodiversity have been
investigated with contrasting, often context-dependent results. The aim of this work is to shed light on the influence that land abandonment may have on soil-dwelling predatory arthropods in a low-input Mediterranean olive grove agroecosystem in which abandoned fields are flanking managed fields. Our results suggest that the presence of land abandonment reduces the abundance of some potentially beneficial arthropods in managed groves, therefore pointing at the need for a regulation of this phenomenon.

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