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Natural enemies and their food sources in an organic crop rotation with undersown crops and animal manure

Axelsen, Jørgen Aagaard; Toft, Søren and Lôvei, Gabor (2007) Natural enemies and their food sources in an organic crop rotation with undersown crops and animal manure. , , . [Completed]

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The abundance and species composition of natural enemies (spiders and carabid beetles) and some of their important arthropod food sources (microarthropods, dipterans and hymenopterans) were sampled by soil extraction, pitfall traps and sticky traps in winter wheat placed in an organic crop with undersown catch crops and animal manure (slurry). The working hypothesis was that the undersown crops and animal manure would stimulate the microarthropods and other food sources, thereby enhancing the abundance of natural enemies.
The ANOVA analyses revealed no impact of manuring and undersown catch crops on the microarthropods, but there was a larger abundance of most predator groups in the manured plots. There was not found any impact of undersown crops on the arthropod fauna elements. In stead analyses with the statistical package PRIMER revealed correlations between certain species of the Collembola community and the natural enemies (carabids and spiders), correlations which due to knowledge on food quality relationships are likely to be cause – effect relationships.
The results suggest that when attempting to boost abundance of natural enemies in agricultural fields the working hypotheses needs a higher level of detail. It seems not to be enough to boost the microarthropod fauna in general, but it is important to distinguish between species that are beneficial or unfortunate for the natural enemies.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:animal manure, undersown crops, natural enemies, polyphagous predators
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > III.5 Nature quality in organic farming
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, NERI - National Environmental Research Institute
Deposited By: Axelsen, Senior Scientist Jørgen
ID Code:12309
Deposited On:08 Nov 2007
Last Modified:08 Nov 2012 12:17
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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