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Article

Structure of the Assemblages of Spiders in Mediterranean Pear Orchards and the Effect of Intensity of Spraying

1
Department of Crop Protection, Biological Control and Ecosystem Services Laboratory, Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario, C/ Mayor s/n, La Alberca, 30150 Murcia, Spain
2
Department of Ecology and Hidrology, Campus de Espinardo, Universidad de Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(9), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090553
Received: 10 July 2020 / Revised: 15 August 2020 / Accepted: 18 August 2020 / Published: 20 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insects-Environment Interaction)
Spiders are one of the most abundant predatory arthropods in fruit tree orchards, where they contribute to pest control. The application of pesticides in these orchards has been largely reported to negatively affect spiders, lowering their abundance and diversity. In this study, we described the structure of the community of spiders in four Mediterranean pear orchards, and we assessed the effect of the intensity of spraying on the spider assemblages. Two of the orchards had low-intensity spraying of pesticides and the other two were sprayed more intensively. Spiders were generally more abundant and diverse in the orchards with low intensity of spraying. Moreover, the impact of the intensity of spraying varied depending on the family of spiders, with only some families of wandering spiders being significantly affected by the intensity of spraying. This suggests that the impact of pesticides on spider could be explained, at least in part, by their foraging mode. However, other local environmental factors apart from the intensity of spraying may have accounted for the differences in abundance and structure of the spider assemblages registered in pear orchards in the present research.
Spiders are key predatory arthropods that are negatively affected by spraying pesticides in orchards. The aim of this research was to determine the structure of the community of spiders in pear orchards and the impact of the intensity of spraying. The study was carried out over three years in four pear orchards in southern Spain; two of them were conducted by ourselves with no or low-intensity spraying of insecticides, and two under the criteria of technicians (conventional). Spiders were sampled on pear trees by the beating method. The orchards hosted a rich community of spiders belonging to 13 different families and 51 genera. However, the genera Philodromus, Oxyopes, Cheiracanthium, Icius, and Neoscona accounted for 72% of the captures. Spiders were more abundant and had a higher richness of genera in the low-intensity spraying than in conventional orchards. Philodromidae, Salticidae, and Cheiracanthiidae experienced a significant population reduction in conventional orchards, while Araneidae, Linyphiidae, and Thomisidae were not significantly affected by the intensity of spraying. The wandering hunting mode could explain the negative impact on Philodromidae, Salticidae, and Cheiracanthiidae but does not explain the lack of effect on Oxyopidae and Thomisidae. No significant effect was found on any family of web builders. View Full-Text
Keywords: spiders; pear pests; pesticides; natural enemies; biological control; chemical control; population dynamics; spider guilds; wandering spiders; web builders spiders; pear pests; pesticides; natural enemies; biological control; chemical control; population dynamics; spider guilds; wandering spiders; web builders
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Pedro, L.; Ortín-Angulo, M.C.; Miñano, J.; López-Gallego, E.; Sanchez, J.A. Structure of the Assemblages of Spiders in Mediterranean Pear Orchards and the Effect of Intensity of Spraying. Insects 2020, 11, 553. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090553

AMA Style

de Pedro L, Ortín-Angulo MC, Miñano J, López-Gallego E, Sanchez JA. Structure of the Assemblages of Spiders in Mediterranean Pear Orchards and the Effect of Intensity of Spraying. Insects. 2020; 11(9):553. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090553

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Pedro, Luis, María C. Ortín-Angulo, Jesús Miñano, Elena López-Gallego, and Juan A. Sanchez 2020. "Structure of the Assemblages of Spiders in Mediterranean Pear Orchards and the Effect of Intensity of Spraying" Insects 11, no. 9: 553. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090553

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