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Impact of wildflower strips on biological control of cabbage lepidopterans

Pfiffner, Lukas; Luka, Henryk; Schlatter, Christian; Juen, Anita and Traugott, Michael (2009) Impact of wildflower strips on biological control of cabbage lepidopterans. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 129 (1-3), pp. 310-314.

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Summary

In a 2-year experiment we investigated whether wildflower strips can be used to enhance the control of cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae L., and cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae L. At two sites, including six organically cultivated fields, M. brassicae egg parasitism and predation rates were determined along with an assessment of larval parasitism rates in M. brassicae and P. rapae using a DNA-based approach. Within each field, plots with and without wildflower strips were sampled and a grid design of 3 m x 3 m was used to analyse the spatial pattern of parasitism. The provision of wildflower strips provided an idiosyncratic effect on the control of lepidopterans: parasitism rates in M. brassicae eggs and larvae were not affected, whereas parasitism rates of larval P. rapae were significantly enhanced by the wildflower strips at one of the two sites. Moreover, at one site predation rates on M. brassicae eggs were significantly enhanced in the wildflower strip plots. Geostatistical analysis showed no distinct spatial patterns in parasitism rates. These results demonstrate that the provision of wildflower strips does not necessarily enhance biological control of lepidopteran cabbage pests and suggest that site-specific environmental factors strongly affect the impact of wildflower strips.
(c) 2008 Elsevier B.V.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Conservation biological control, Parasitoids, Diagnostic PCR, Habitat manipulation, Mamestra brassicae, Pieris rapae, Biocontrol, Kohlschädlinge, ökologischer Gemüsebau
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crop Production > Vegetables/Ornamentals
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Biodiversity
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Entomolgy
ISSN:0167-8809
DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2008.10.003
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/de/schweiz/forschung/pflanzenschutz-biodiversitaet/pb-publikationen.html#c8456
Deposited By: Pfiffner, Dr. Lukas
ID Code:17813
Deposited On:11 Oct 2010 12:39
Last Modified:11 Oct 2010 12:39
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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