Changes in landscape composition influence the abundance of insects on maize: The role of fruit orchards and alfalfa crops
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The traditional agricultural landscape of Ebro Basin (NE Spain), which is mainly composed of alfalfa and cereal crops, has undergone changes in recent years, mainly consisting of an increase in the area occupied by intensively managed irrigated orchards. Recently, it has been reported that the presence of a higher proportion of orchards in the landscape and their management negatively affect the abundance and diversity of natural enemies. Two hypotheses are tested in this study: (1) the increased orchard surface has led to a reduction in natural enemies in neighbouring maize crops, and (2) the higher alfalfa proportion of agricultural land enhances the predatory fauna on maize. Maize fields were selected across a landscape gradient created by orchards and field crops (alfalfa and maize) in a buffer of 500 m. The abundance of 17 insect taxa in each maize field was estimated by means of 3 yellow sticky traps per season over three years. The insect abundance was related to the landscape structure (proportions of landscape elements and landscape diversity) and local variables (maize phenology, perimeter/area, weed diversity of the maize edges and abundance of the potential predators or potential prey). Our results show that the proportion of orchards in the landscape had negative effects on the main predators, and alfalfa had positive effects on herbivores and their predators. Semi-natural habitats (non-crop habitats and forest) and landscape diversity had low effects on insect abundance. However, variables at the local level included more significant effects than landscape structure; maize growth stages and abundance of potential prey or predators on the crop were the most influential variables at a local level. Here we show the interplay between different land uses types and local management and their impact on natural enemies and herbivores in maize crops in the Mediterranean area.
632 - Malalties i protecció de les plantes
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Agricultural, Ecosystems and Environment
Clemente-Orta, Gemma, Filipe Madeira, Iván Batuecas, Samuel Sossai, Alejandro Juárez-Escario, and Ramon Albajes. 2020. "Changes In Landscape Composition Influence The Abundance Of Insects On Maize: The Role Of Fruit Orchards And Alfalfa Crops". Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 291: 106805. Elsevier BV. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2019.106805.
Grant agreement number
MINECO/Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/AGL2014-53970-C2-1-R/ES/MEJORA DEL CONTROL INTEGRADO EN PAISAJES MIXTOS DE HUERTOS FRUTALES DE HUESO Y CULTIVOS EXTENSIVOS/
MINECO/Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/AGL2017-84127-R/ES/MANEJO DE CULTIVOS EXTENSIVOS E INTERACCIONES CON EL PAISAJE PARA EL CONTROL DE PLAGAS/
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