2012. október 10., szerda

Veres et al. (2012) Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment

Predators of the genus Orius are widely released as control agents against Frankliniella occidentalis, however they can also colonize crops spontaneously, and conservation biological control can potentially take advantage of the presence of semi-natural areas in the agricultural landscape. A three-year study was conducted in Hungary in order to evaluate the Orius species spatial pattern at landscape scale, and to link their eventual aggregation, i.e. higher abundance, to the presence of semi-natural areas, which has been shown to benefit conservation biological control in general. Results show that Orius species population size and spatial pattern are related to semi-natural areas, and that influences with other agro-environmental factors exist. Orius niger abundance is likely to be associated with semi-natural areas, where it can successfully overwinter, but also with other resources in the landscape, especially in warm years. As a consequence of O. niger being a habitat generalist we suggest that at landscape scale its abundance pattern is driven by resource patterns and availability of both semi-natural and cultivated areas. Furthermore, their population dynamics is influenced by crop management intensity rather than crop composition of cropping systems.

► O. niger abundance is likely associated with semi-natural areas. ► Effective conservation biological control is expected mainly in warm years. ► Mass reproduction of O. niger is linked to arable fields and general resource patterns.

Conservation biological control, GIS, Natural enemy, Greenhouse sweet pepper, Minute pirate bug

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