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Spider Communities and Biological Control in Native Habitats Surrounding Greenhouses

1
Department of Plant Protection Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 23053 Alnarp, Sweden
2
Estación Experimental Cajamar, El Ejido, 04710 Almeria, Spain
3
Department of Environmental Protection, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC, 18008 Granada, Spain
4
Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, Estación Experimental de Zonas Aridas, CSIC, 04120 Almeria, Spain
5
IFAPA, Centro La Mojonera, 04745 Almeria, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2018, 9(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9010033
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
The promotion of native vegetation as a habitat for natural enemies, which could increase their abundance and fitness, is especially useful in highly simplified settings such as Mediterranean greenhouse landscapes. Spiders as generalist predators may also be involved in intra-guild predation. However, the niche complementarity provided by spiders as a group means that increased spider diversity may facilitate complementary control actions. In this study, the interactions between spiders, the two major horticultural pests, Bemisia tabaci and Frankliniella occidentalis, and their naturally occurring predators and parasitoids were evaluated in a mix of 21 newly planted shrubs selected for habitat management in a highly disturbed horticultural system. The effects of all factors were evaluated using redundancy analysis (RDA) and the generalized additive model (GAM) to assess the statistical significance of abundance of spiders and pests. The GAM showed that the abundance of both pests had a significant effect on hunter spider’s abundance, whereas the abundance of B. tabaci, but not F. occidentalis, affected web-weavers’ abundance. Ordination analysis showed that spider abundance closely correlated with that of B. tabaci but not with that of F. occidentalis, suggesting that complementarity occurs, and thereby probability of biocontrol, with respect to the targeted pest B. tabaci, although the temporal patterns of the spiders differed from those of F. occidentalis. Conservation strategies involving the establishment of these native plants around greenhouses could be an effective way to reduce pest populations outdoors. View Full-Text
Keywords: beneficial arthropods; GAM; habitat manipulation; RDA; tobacco whitefly; western flower thrips beneficial arthropods; GAM; habitat manipulation; RDA; tobacco whitefly; western flower thrips
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Cotes, B.; González, M.; Benítez, E.; De Mas, E.; Clemente-Orta, G.; Campos, M.; Rodríguez, E. Spider Communities and Biological Control in Native Habitats Surrounding Greenhouses. Insects 2018, 9, 33.

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