Arthropod communities in mango orchards during the flowering season in Reunion Island: effects of agroecological and agrochemical practices
Conservation biological control implies appropriate management of arthropod communities at several trophic levels. Adding plants to agro-ecosystems influences upper trophic levels by providing basal resources and new habitats. The abundance and species richness of phytophagous and predatory arthropods may consequently be modified, which in turn, may affect pest control. Insecticide applications are also known to influence the different trophic levels of the agroecosystems. Under BIOPHYTO (insecticide-free production of mangos) management, agroecological practices were applied: increasing ground cover and stopping the use of insecticides. This study was conducted during the flowering period in August 2012, 2013 and 2014. Data on arthropods were collected through extensive sampling on six farms: 8,667 phytophagous arthropods belonging to 122 species and 4,395 predators belonging to 105 species were collected. On each farm, two mango orchard plots were used, one under agroecological practices and the other under agrochemical practices. Our results showed that the species richness of phytophagous and predatory arthropods was significantly higher in plots with agroecological practices than in plots with agrochemical practices in 1 out of 2 years after the change in practices. Phytophagous arthropods were more abundant in plots with agroecological farming practices. From the point of view of application, increasing ground cover and stopping the use of insecticides are possible mechanisms to design new cropping systems to increase the biodiversity required for effective biological control.
Jacquot, M., Atiama, M., Muru, D., Chiroleu, F., Tenailleau, M., Gasnier, S., Rochat, J., Plessix, S., Moutoussamy, M.-L., Soleyen, C. Ajaguin and Deguine, J.-P. (2017). Arthropod communities in mango orchards during the flowering season in Reunion Island: effects of agroecological and agrochemical practices. Acta Hortic. 1183, 267-270
arthropods, phytophagous, predator, agroecological, farming practices, fruit