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Below- and aboveground abundance and distribution of fungal entomopathogens in experimental conventional and organic cropping systems

Meyling, Nicolai V.; Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian and Eilenberg, Jørgen (2011) Below- and aboveground abundance and distribution of fungal entomopathogens in experimental conventional and organic cropping systems. Biological Control, 59, pp. 180-186.

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Online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S104996441100226X


The below- and aboveground communities of fungal entomopathogens (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) were investigated in an experimental conventional and organic vegetable cropping system over two seasons in Denmark. The experimental design allowed for evaluating differences between farming practices in the occurrence of soil-borne fungal entomopathogens and as natural infections aboveground in arthropod hosts. Belowground, Metarhizium anisopliae dominated the agricultural field with Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium flavoviride and Isaria fumosorosea being present at lower frequencies. Abundances of M. anisopliae were not different between conventional and organic soils. Aboveground, B. bassiana was the most common fungal entomopathogen in arthropod host cadavers. Infections of M. flavoviride, Isaria farinosa and Gibellula spp. were also recorded. Most mycosed cadavers were recovered in August and September from conventionally farmed plots. Cadaver sizes ranged from 1.9 mm to 23.6 mm with means of 3.7 mm to 4.1 mm. Among host functional groups, predators dominated (47% - 63%) over herbivores, parasitoids and nectar-feeders. No occurrence of M. anisopliae was recorded among >200 mycosed cadavers aboveground. The results therefore suggest that M. anisopliae is not involved in direct below- and aboveground interactions in the investigated agroecosystem. Conservation biological control strategies targeting M. anisopliae should thus be solely for controlling soil-dwelling pests in temperate regions as this fungus is unlikely naturally to infect aboveground hosts in the agroecosytem.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > VEGQURE - Organic cropping Systems for Vegetable production
Deposited By: Meyling, Nicolai V.
ID Code:19680
Deposited On:01 Dec 2011 08:06
Last Modified:27 Apr 2013 20:24
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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