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Ecological Infrastructures May Enhance Lepidopterans Predation in Irrigated Mediterranean Farmland, Depending on Their Typology and the Predator Guild

Forest Research Centre, School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
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Academic Editor: Helvi Heinonen-Tanski
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 3874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073874
Received: 3 March 2022 / Revised: 21 March 2022 / Accepted: 24 March 2022 / Published: 25 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Topic Insects in Sustainable Agroecosystems)
Ecological infrastructures (EIs) are considered relevant components in agricultural landscapes to support biodiversity and ecosystem services. We used the predatory attacks on lepidopteran dummies as a proxy to assess predation rates in the agricultural matrix and different EIs types according to their location and vegetation structure. We aimed at comparing the effect of different types of EI on the predation intensity in two intensively irrigated agricultural areas located in the Sorraia and Tagus river valleys in central Portugal. We hypothesized that: (1) the predation rate would be higher near EIs compared with the agricultural matrix, (2) the positive effect of EIs on predation rate would differ with their typologies, and (3) the EIs’ proximity and proportion in the surrounding landscape would have a positive effect on the predation rate in agricultural fields. The EI typologies influenced differently the predator groups and the overall predation rate. Major differences were observed for bird predation, being higher in woody EIs. A positive correlation between predation rate and EIs area of the surrounding landscape, as well as a negative correlation with the distance to the nearest riparian and woody EIs, was observed for birds. The observed dissimilarities in the predators’ response may be related to habitat differences and its functional connectivity. The overall monthly low predation rates are possibly related to the intensive agricultural system and the small area occupied by EIs. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial sentinel prey; dummy caterpillars; ecosystem services; greening; predators artificial sentinel prey; dummy caterpillars; ecosystem services; greening; predators
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MDPI and ACS Style

Franco, J.C.; Branco, M.; Conde, S.; Garcia, A.; Fernandes, M.R.; Lima Santos, J.; Messina, T.; Duarte, G.; Fonseca, A.; Zina, V.; Ferreira, M.T. Ecological Infrastructures May Enhance Lepidopterans Predation in Irrigated Mediterranean Farmland, Depending on Their Typology and the Predator Guild. Sustainability 2022, 14, 3874. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073874

AMA Style

Franco JC, Branco M, Conde S, Garcia A, Fernandes MR, Lima Santos J, Messina T, Duarte G, Fonseca A, Zina V, Ferreira MT. Ecological Infrastructures May Enhance Lepidopterans Predation in Irrigated Mediterranean Farmland, Depending on Their Typology and the Predator Guild. Sustainability. 2022; 14(7):3874. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073874

Chicago/Turabian Style

Franco, José Carlos, Manuela Branco, Sofia Conde, André Garcia, Maria Rosário Fernandes, José Lima Santos, Tainan Messina, Gonçalo Duarte, André Fonseca, Vera Zina, and Maria Teresa Ferreira. 2022. "Ecological Infrastructures May Enhance Lepidopterans Predation in Irrigated Mediterranean Farmland, Depending on Their Typology and the Predator Guild" Sustainability 14, no. 7: 3874. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073874

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