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