Floral enhancements and UV-mulch tend to reduce the number of flower thripsand their associated damage in intensive strawberry production


Abstract: Floral enhancements are increasingly present in agri-environmental programmes worldwide. They aim to promote biodiversity and ecosystem services. In the present study, we investigated whether sown wildflower strips and companion plants reduce the abundance and associated damage of flower thrips (FT) in strawberry production. In a replicated on-farm experiment, flower strips tended to reduce the abundance and associated damage of FT on strawberry, whereas companion plants increased the FT associated damage. Damage levels next to companion plants were acceptable, only in combination with repellent UV-mulch. The targeted use of such agroecological interventions provide fundamental resources for natural enemies of crop pests, without posing major environmental risks and could contribute significantly to effective integrated pest management.

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