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Reduction of pesticide use can increase earthworm populations in wheat crops in a European temperate region

Pélosi, Céline; Toutous, Lucile; Chiron, François; Dubs, Florence; Hedde, Mickael; Muratet, Audrey; Ponge, Jean-François; Salmon, Sandrine and Makowski, David (2013) Reduction of pesticide use can increase earthworm populations in wheat crops in a European temperate region. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, pp. 223-230.

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Document available online at: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00904152


Agricultural intensification has led to reduced soil biodiversity in arable lands. The potential benefits from organic farming and from low-input cropping systems have not yet been precisely assessed. Earthworm, having important agro-ecological functions, may be affected by pesticide applications, especially those species living mainly in the surface soil layer. We used a five-year experimental database including conventional and organic cropping systems to establish simple relationships between the Treatment Frequency Index - a phytosanitary indicator of pesticide pressure - and the abundance of three important earthworm species. We found that insecticides have more negative influence on earthworm species than herbicides and fungicides, and that species living in the soil's surface layer were the most affected by pesticides. Density of these earthworm species could be multiplied by a factor 1.5-4 if the Treatment Frequency Index was halved, as is currently required by some European regulations. Our results thus demonstrate that a reduction in pesticide application would increase earthworm population density in agricultural fields.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Conventional cropping system (en), Pesticides (en), Earthworm density (en), Treatment Frequency Index (en), Organic farming (en)
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Research affiliation: France > INRAe - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement
ISSN:ISSN: 0167-8809
Related Links:https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00904152/document
Project ID:HAL-INRAe
Deposited By: PENVERN, Servane
ID Code:41726
Deposited On:12 Aug 2021 10:37
Last Modified:12 Aug 2021 10:37
Document Language:English

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