Landscape simplification and pest management effects on the entomofauna in apple orchards of Quebec


Abstract: Intensive crop management is suspected to be the main cause of biodiversity loss while increasing pest presence and reducing natural systemic services. The aim of the project is to determine the impact of landscape simplification and pesticides use on the entomofauna and reveal the main systemic interactions in commercial apple orchards of Quebec (Canada).
Nine sites, classified at three levels of landscape diversity were selected. Arthropods were sampled bimonthly over the 2020 summer season using general and pest specific traps. Captures were analyzed together with pesticides input and yield. At least 50 % of the 16,906 specimens identified were phytophagous, 14% were known orchard pests and 12 % were ecosystem service providers (pollinators, parasitoids and predators). Results show that simplified orchard landscapes present higher pest presence and less ecosystem services than high or medium diversified apple orchards. Community configuration at family taxonomical level was not significantly affected by the loss of landscape heterogeneity while ecosystem services were negatively associated with the level of environmental toxicity index of pesticides used. The results of this project make it possible to identify the main factors and associations operating within the orchard system with the aim of facilitating further IPM strategies that are more sustainable.

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