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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nikolaos Volakakis,
Dr Leo RempelosORCiD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
© 2022 by the authors.Background: Although the negative effects of insecticides and herbicides on beneficial and non-target invertebrates are well documented, there is limited information on potential negative impacts of pest and weed management practices used in organic farming on invertebrate activity. Methods: Using established field experiments designed to compare different ground cover crops (used to suppress weeds and increase nitrogen availability and soil health) and mass-trapping systems (used for olive fly control) in organic olive production systems, we monitored the impact of these practices on invertebrate activity. Results: When different ground cover crops were compared, ground cover crops established from a vetch/pea/barley seed mixtures resulted in significantly higher parasitic wasps activity than ground cover vegetation in control plots (plots in which Medicago seed were sown and failed to establish) that were dominated by the weed Oxalis pes-caprae. When two bottle based mass-trapping systems were compared, the traps caught similar numbers of olive flies and some non-target invertebrates (mainly other Diptera, Neuroptera and Lepidotera and Formicidae), although no parasitic wasps or pollinators (bees; bumble bees) were caught in traps. Analyses of invertebrate profiles found in McPhail monitoring traps showed that invertebrate activity profiles were similar in plots with and without mass-trapping devices. In addition, as expected, redundancy analyses showed that climatic parameters (temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind direction) are significant explanatory variables/drivers for invertebrate activity in olive orchards. Conclusions: The results presented indicate that mixed legume/cereal ground cover crops may increase the activity of parasitic wasps and may act as a reservoir for natural enemies of agricultural pest and that olive fly mass-trapping systems may lure and kill some non-target invertebrates, but do not affect the activity of two main groups of beneficial invertebrates namely pollinators and parasitic wasps.
Author(s): Volakakis N, Kabourakis E, Rempelos L, Kiritsakis A, Leifert C
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Print publication date: 01/10/2022
Online publication date: 20/10/2022
Acceptance date: 18/10/2022
Date deposited: 07/11/2022
ISSN (electronic): 2073-4395
Notes: This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Soil, Crop and Human Nutrition and Health Management in Organic Agriculture
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