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Pest management and biodiversity in organic fruit production: the case of apple orchards

SAUPHANOR, B. ; SIMON, S. ; BOISNEAU, C. ; CAPOWIEZ, Y. ; RIEUX, R. ; BOUVIER, J.C. ; DEFRANCE, H. ; PICARD, C. and TOUBON, J.-F. (2009) Pest management and biodiversity in organic fruit production: the case of apple orchards. [Protection phytosanitaire et biodiversité en agriculture biologique. Le cas des vergers de pommiers.] Carrefours de l'Innovation Agronomique, 4, pp. 217-228.

[thumbnail of 31-Sauphanor.pdf] PDF - English

Document available online at: http://www.inra.fr/ciag/revue_innovations_agronomiques/volume_4_janvier_2009


Numerous pesticide applications are required for orchard protection, regardless of the guidelines. Organic fruit production (OFP) mainly relies on the use of mineral fungicides and microbiological or naturally-occurring insecticides. The environmental impact of this type of production does not significantly differ from that of conventional production when assessed in terms of synthetic indicators. However, the abundance of earthworms, as well as the abundance and specific richness of arthropod pests and beneficials in the orchards and surrounding hedges, is greater in OFP than in conventional orchards. Generalist predators are usually less affected by OFP compounds than by the chemical pesticides applied in conventional orchards. OFP also benefits avian communities, and above all, insectivorous birds, for which organic orchards offer a suitable habitat similar to that of undisturbed natural areas. In addition to this general trend, discrepancies may be observed in the protection responses of different insect groups. The abundance of hymenopteran parasitoids is the lowest in organic orchards in which outbreaks of phytophagous mites are also recorded in relation to the intensive use of sulphur for scab protection. Biological insecticides often act in ways that are similar to those of chemical ones, and the restricted choice of available compounds is likely to induce resistance selection in insect pests. Although maintaining biodiversity is not a direct result of the implementation of OFP guidelines, it seems to be widely considered as an option by organic growers, both alone and as a complementary tool for pest regulation.

Summary translation

La protection des vergers nécessite de nombreux traitements antiparasitaires, quel que soit le cahier des charges. L’agriculture biologique (AB) utilise des fongicides minéraux et des insecticides d’origine végétale, microbiologiques ou dérivés ; l’arboriculture conventionnelle a essentiellement recours à la chimie de synthèse. Evalués au moyen d’indicateurs synthétiques, ces différents programmes de protection ne se distinguent pas fondamentalement en termes d’impacts environnementaux. Les observations biologiques directes dans le verger et dans son environnement immédiat indiquent cependant un effet de l’AB moindre que celui du conventionnel sur les lombrics, les communautés aviaires, et sur l’abondance globale des arthropodes. Des réponses opposées sont enregistrées pour les hyménoptères parasitoïdes et les acariens prédateurs, sensibles aux applications répétées de fongicides minéraux contre la tavelure. Peu diversifiés, les insecticides biologiques dont les modes d’action s’apparentent souvent à ceux des molécules de synthèse sont fréquemment répétés, donc sujets à l’acquisition de résistances par les ravageurs cibles. Si la préservation de la biodiversité n’est pas acquise par le simple respect du cahier des charges AB, elle semble bien prise en compte par les arboriculteurs biologiques, conscients de son utilité pour la limitation des infestations parasitaires.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:orchard; pesticide; integrated protection; biological pest control; indicator; diversity; sustainability.
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Fruit and berries
Research affiliation: France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Related Links:http://www1.montpellier.inra.fr/dinabio/
Deposited By: PENVERN, Servane
ID Code:15486
Deposited On:02 Mar 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:39
Document Language:French/Francais
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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