BioControl (2005) 50, 205-222

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Matthew E. O'Neal, Erica L. Zontek, Zsofia Szendrei, Doug A. Landis and Rufus Isaacs (2005)
Ground predator abundance affects prey removal in highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) fields and can be altered by aisle ground covers
BioControl 50 (2), 205-222
Abstract: Habitat management to conserve natural enemies has increased biological control of insect pests in various cropping systems [Annu. Rev. Entomol. 45: 175-201, 2000]. We wanted to determine if insect predation in highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L. (Ericales: Ericaceae), is influenced by manipulation of edaphic arthropod community and whether management of ground cover in aisles between blueberry rows enhances this community. The first question was studied in blueberry plots bounded by trenches permitting selective movement into plots (ingress) or out of plots (egress), as well as unbounded control plots. We observed a significant effect of boundary type on the arthropod communities' relative abundance as measured with pitfall traps, with relative abundance highest in ingress plots, intermediate in control plots and lowest in egress plots. Effects of ground arthropod abundance on predation rates were assessed with onion fly, Delia antiqua (Meigen) (Diptera: Anthomyiidae), pupae as sentinel prey. Pupa recovery was greatest in egress boundary plots, intermediate in control plots and lowest in ingress boundary plots. Regression analyses indicate pupal recovery rate decreased as a function of carabid abundance as well as the abundance of non-insect ground predators. To determine if ground cover management influenced natural enemy abundance, aisles were clean cultivated or planted with three ground covers (clover, ryegrass, or buckwheat). Increasing ground cover had a significant effect on the relative abundance of Harpalus pensylvanicus De Geer (Coleoptera: Carabidae). In addition to conserving natural enemies for control of blueberry insect pests, we discuss additional benefits of ground covers that may increase their utility for blueberry production.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Matthew E. O'Neal, Rufus Isaacs, Zsofia Szendrei

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
environment/habitat manipulation

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Delia antiqua
Harpalus pensylvanicus (predator)