Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effect of ground cover vegetation on the abundance and diversity of beneficial arthropods in citrus orchards

Published source details

Silva E.B., Franco J.C., Vasconcelos T. & Branco M. (2010) Effect of ground cover vegetation on the abundance and diversity of beneficial arthropods in citrus orchards. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 100, 489-499


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Allow natural regeneration of ground cover beneath perennial crops Natural Pest Control

A replicated, randomised and controlled study in three lemon Citrus limon orchards in Oeste, Portugal in 2002-2003 (Silva et al. 2010) found that spiders (Araneae), ladybirds (Coccinellidae) and parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera) were more abundant in lemon trees above naturally regenerated vegetation than above bare ground controls, when sampled by both beating and suction. Lacewings (Chrysopidae) were more abundant in lemon trees over naturally regenerated ground covers (3.0 individuals/25 trees) than controls (0.5 individuals) in suction samples, but beating samples found no difference. Ground cover treatments provided the highest numbers of lacewings, ladybirds and parasitoid wasps (relative to controls) in spring and summer, but not in winter. The three orchards were split into plots of 0.6 ha which were allowed to naturally regenerate or kept bare with herbicide. Regenerated plots were mown twice per year and comprised a mixture of grasses and flowering plants, dominated by annual meadow grass Poa annua.