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


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

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