Individual study: Synergistic effects of ground cover and adjacent vegetation on natural enemies of olive insect pests
Paredes D., Cayuela L. & Campos M. (2013) Synergistic effects of ground cover and adjacent vegetation on natural enemies of olive insect pests. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 173, 72-80
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Pest regulation: Plant or maintain ground cover in orchards or vineyards
A replicated, controlled study in 2010–2011 in an olive grove in southern Spain found more natural enemies in plots with ground cover, compared to bare soil, between the olive rows. Natural enemy numbers: More spiders and parasitoids were found in plots with ground cover, compared to bare soil (45 vs 32 spiders/plot; 109 vs 0 parasitoids/plot), but similar numbers of predatory bugs and ants were found (data not reported). Methods: The olive grove was divided into four subzones (two with ground cover, two without). In the subzones without ground cover, herbicides were used in early spring 2010–2011. In the subzones with ground cover, no herbicides were used, and herbaceous vegetation was allowed to grow. There were three plots (4,900 m2 each) in each subzone. In each plot, natural enemies were sampled from the canopies of olive trees in one random sub-plot (1,600 m2), every 10 days, with vacuum samplers (16 trees/sub-plot, two minutes/tree).