Study

Field margin vegetation enhances biological control and crop damage suppression from multiple pests in organic tomato fields

  • Published source details Balzan M.V. & Moonen A. (2014) Field margin vegetation enhances biological control and crop damage suppression from multiple pests in organic tomato fields. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 150, 45-65.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Other biodiversity: Plant flowers

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Pest regulation: Plant flowers

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Other biodiversity: Plant flowers

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2011–2012 in tomato fields in Tuscany, Italy, found similar numbers of plant species in planted flower strips, compared to unplanted field margins, but found higher plant diversity in unplanted margins. Plants: Similar numbers of plant species were found in planted and unplanted margins (numbers of species not reported). However, a higher turnover in species was found between unplanted margins than between planted margins (data reported as beta-diversity). Methods: In each of eight tomato fields, plants were sampled in each of two field margins (one with flower strips, one without, 3 x 25 m each), in five 1 x 1 m quadrats/field margin, in early August.

     

  2. Pest regulation: Plant flowers

    A replicated, paired, controlled study in 2011–2012 in tomato fields in Tuscany, Italy, found higher rates of aphid parasitism, but more aphids, and different amounts of fruit damage by different pests, in tomatoes next to planted flower strips compared to tomatoes next to unplanted field margins. Pest regulation: Aphid parasitism rate was higher on tomatoes next to flower strips than on tomatoes next to unplanted margins (parasitism rates not reported). Crop damage: Less fruit damage by sucking bugs, but more leaf damage by other pests, was found on tomatoes next to flower strips, compared to tomatoes next to unplanted margins (amounts of damage not reported). Similar amounts of fruit damage by noctuid pests and Tuta absoluta were found on tomatoes next to flower strips and unplanted margins. Pest numbers: More aphids were found on tomatoes next to flower strips, compared to tomatoes next to unplanted margins (numbers of individuals not reported). Methods: In each of eight tomato fields, 150 fruits and 60 leaves were sampled for crop damage, aphid mummies (parasitism), and aphids, on transects from each of two field margins (one with flower strips, one without; 3 x 25 m each). The flower strips were planted 7–14 days after the tomatoes were planted. Samples began when the flower strips began to bloom, and continued every 15 days until harvest.

     

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