Innovative methods for measuring Orius spp. (Anthocoridae) abundance at a landscape scale


Abstract: This study aimed at finding an appropriate method to measure abundance in thelandscape of Orius, a biocontrol agent against thrips. Such measure would indeed provide anassessment for the potential of the conservation biological control of thrips species forgreenhouse sweet pepper producers. Greenhouse sweet pepper was sampled 3 times during theseason in 2005, while Orius larva, nymph and adult abundances in the landscape was measuredonce on poison hemlock (June), on maize silk (July), and finally in spider web pockets in thesame maize fields (August). Orius abundance could be estimated in the landscape with thesemethods, which were easy to standardize and independent from local variability (like localvegetation). If we assume that, for a given date, the younger populations are situated at largerdistances from the overwintering sites, we may conclude from the observed pattern of theindividuals that the landscape may provide highly suitable overwintering sites in the south-eastpart of the study area. Orius spp. are highly mobile and generalist predators that use bothflowering cultivated and non cultivated habitats. The second generation may therefore be highlyabundant in the whole landscape by the end of August in such an extensively managed region.

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