Perennial fallow strips support biological pest control in spring cereal in Northern Europe

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Toivonen , M , Huusela-Veistola , E & Herzon , I 2018 , ' Perennial fallow strips support biological pest control in spring cereal in Northern Europe ' , Biological Control , vol. 121 , pp. 109-118 .

Title: Perennial fallow strips support biological pest control in spring cereal in Northern Europe
Author: Toivonen, Marjaana; Huusela-Veistola, Erja; Herzon, Irina
Contributor organization: Department of Agricultural Sciences
Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Plant Production Sciences
Date: 2018-06
Language: eng
Number of pages: 10
Belongs to series: Biological Control
ISSN: 1049-9644
Abstract: Fallow strips are promoted through agri-climate-environment schemes to enhance farmland biodiversity, but their effects on biodiversity-mediated ecosystem services remain poorly studied in different cropping systems. The effects of fallow strips on biological control of bird cherry-oat aphids in spring barley were examined in a field experiment in Finland in 2014–2016. Two types of sown perennial fallow strips – grass strip and wildflower strip – were compared. The relative efficiency of biological pest control was tested by monitoring the number of experimentally added aphids in the fallow strips and in the adjacent barley fields at different distances from the strips. Data were also collected on the densities of naturally occurring aphids and ground-dwelling natural enemies. The effects of the fallow strips differed between years. When aphid pressure was high, the proximity of the strips slowed the growth of aphid population. In the year of low aphid abundance, the fallow strips sustained more aphids than the adjacent barley fields, but did not constitute a risk for pest control. In the second and third years, especially wildflower strips supported high activity density of ground-dwelling predators. The activity densities were particularly high in the both fallow strip types in early summer, highlighting the role of the perennial strips as refuges for natural enemies. The results suggest that perennial fallow strips, and especially those sown with diverse wildflower mixtures, can promote pest control in spring cereals, thus contributing to ecological intensification in agriculture.
Subject: Conservation biological control
Habitat management
Natural enemies
Predatory arthropods
Sown grass strip
Sown wildflower strip
wildflower strips
ecological intensification
landscape heterogeneity
flower strips
field margins
seminatural habitats
natural enimies
4111 Agronomy
415 Other agricultural sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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