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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Ground Cover Management on Insect Predators and Pests in a Mediterranean Vineyard

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Departament of Agriculture and Food, University of La Rioja, C/Madre de Dios 51, 26006 Logroño (La Rioja), Spain
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Institute of Grapevine and Wine Sciences (ICVV), Finca La Grajera, 26071 Logroño (La Rioja), Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(12), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10120421
Received: 20 October 2019 / Revised: 15 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 23 November 2019
Conservative techniques, such as ground cover management, could help promote viticulture sustainability, which is a goal of conservation biological control, by providing shelter and food sources for predatory insects. A field experiment was conducted in a Mediterranean vineyard to evaluate ground cover management impacts on predatory insect and potential grapevine pest abundance and diversity, both on the ground and in the grapevine canopy. Three different ground cover management techniques (tillage, spontaneous cover and flower-driven cover) were tested for two years (2016 and 2017). Overall, the ground cover management significantly affected the abundance of important epigeal predators, of which carabids, forficulids and staphylinids were the most captured. The carabid abundances under both the cover crop treatments were found to be approximately three times higher compared with that under the tillage treatment. In contrast, the canopy insect abundance in the vineyard was similar among the treatments for both the predators and the potential grapevine pest species. These results indicate that cover crop vegetation can be used in vineyards to enhance predatory insect abundance and may improve agroecosystem resilience. View Full-Text
Keywords: abundance; cover crop; diversity; natural enemies; pests; tillage; vineyard abundance; cover crop; diversity; natural enemies; pests; tillage; vineyard
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sáenz-Romo, M.G.; Veas-Bernal, A.; Martínez-García, H.; Ibáñez-Pascual, S.; Martínez-Villar, E.; Campos-Herrera, R.; Marco-Mancebón, V.S.; Pérez-Moreno, I. Effects of Ground Cover Management on Insect Predators and Pests in a Mediterranean Vineyard. Insects 2019, 10, 421.

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