The effectiveness of field margin enhancement for cereal aphid control by different natural enemy guilds

  • Published source details Holland J.M., Oaten H., Southway S. & Moreby S. (2008) The effectiveness of field margin enhancement for cereal aphid control by different natural enemy guilds. Biological Control, 47, 71-76.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Plant grass buffer strips/margins around arable or pasture fields

    A replicated, controlled study in summer 2005 in south Wiltshire, UK (Holland et al. 2008) found that a higher proportion of grain aphids Sitobion avenae were parasitized in winter wheat fields with wide margins (5-6 m) compared to standard margins (<1 m) ten days after inoculation with aphids. One month after inoculation more aphids were parasitized at 20 m from the wide margin compared with the standard margins. Flying predators reduced aphid numbers by 90% and 93% in fields with standard and wide field margins respectively one month after inoculation whereas ground-dwelling predators achieved reductions of only 40% and 18%. Ground-dwelling predators had no additional effect on aphid abundance compared to when only flying predators were present in fields with either wide or standard width field margins. Spiders (Araneae) were more abundant in suction samples collected in fields with wide margins. Flying predators and balloon flies (Empididae) were more abundant in fields with standard margins. Exclusion cages were used to investigate the effect of ground-dwelling and flying predators in isolation or together on aphid abundance, as well as in the absence of predators in fields with different margin widths (standard (<1 m) or wide (5-6 m)) in ten winter wheat fields. Two transects with exclusion cages were established in each field, at 20 and 80 m from margin. Aphid abundance was monitored four days before and 10, 20 and 32 days after inoculation with aphids on 10 June.

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