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Insects 2017, 8(3), 71; doi:10.3390/insects8030071

Do Refuge Plants Favour Natural Pest Control in Maize Crops?

1
Fundación PROINPA, Regional Altiplano, La Paz, Bolivia
2
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Program, Universidad Nacional de Loja, Ciudadela Universitaria, sector La Argelia, EC 110101 Loja, Ecuador
3
Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales/Instituto de Investigación de Biodiversidad CIBIO, Universidad de Alicante, Apdo. Correos 99, 03080 Alicante, España
4
Departamento Académico de Entomología, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina, Av. La Molina s/n, Distrito La Molina, Lima 12, Perú
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 29 May 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 13 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Habitat Management in Agroecosystems)
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Abstract

The use of non-crop plants to provide the resources that herbivorous crop pests’ natural enemies need is being increasingly incorporated into integrated pest management programs. We evaluated insect functional groups found on three refuges consisting of five different plant species each, planted next to a maize crop in Lima, Peru, to investigate which refuge favoured natural control of herbivores considered as pests of maize in Peru, and which refuge plant traits were more attractive to those desirable enemies. Insects occurring in all the plants, including the maize crop itself, were sampled weekly during the crop growing cycle, from February to June 2011. All individuals collected were identified and classified into three functional groups: herbivores, parasitoids, and predators. Refuges were compared based on their effectiveness in enhancing the populations of predator and parasitoid insects of the crop enemies. Refuges A and B were the most effective, showing the highest richness and abundance of both predators and parasitoids, including several insect species that are reported to attack the main insect pests of maize (Spodoptera frugiperda and Rhopalosiphum maidis), as well as other species that serve as alternative hosts of these natural enemies. View Full-Text
Keywords: refuge plant; functional groups; predators; parasitoids; maize crop refuge plant; functional groups; predators; parasitoids; maize crop
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Quispe, R.; Mazón, M.; Rodríguez-Berrío, A. Do Refuge Plants Favour Natural Pest Control in Maize Crops? Insects 2017, 8, 71.

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