Assessing risks and benefits of floral supplements in conservation biological control
Winkler, K. ; Wackers, F.L. ; Termorshuizen, A.J. ; Lenteren, J.C. van - \ 2010
BioControl 55 (2010)6. - ISSN 1386-6141 - p. 719 - 727.
diamondback moth - euphydryas-chalcedona - field conditions - honeydew sugars - nectar sources - lepidoptera - parasitoids - resources - oviposition - herbivores
The use of flowering field margins is often proposed as a method to support biological control in agro-ecosystems. In addition to beneficial insects, many herbivores depend on floral food as well. The indiscriminate use of flowering species in field margins can therefore lead to higher pest numbers. Based on results from field observations and laboratory experiments we assessed risks as well as benefits associated with the provision of nectar plants in field margins, using Brussels sprouts as a model system. Results show that Brussels sprouts bordered by nectar plants suitable for the cabbage white Pieris rapae L., suffered higher infestation levels by this herbivore. In contrast, nectar plants providing accessible nectar for the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella L., did not raise densities of P. xylostella larvae in the Brassica crop. Margins with Anethum graveolens L., selected on the basis of its suitability as nectar plant for parasitoids, significantly increased the number of adult Diadegma semiclausum Hellen in the crop. This didn't translate into enhanced parasitism rates, as parasitism of P. xylostella by D. semiclausum exceeded 65 % in all treatments, irrespective of the plants in the field margin. Our findings emphasize the importance of taking a multitrophic approach when choosing flowering field margin plants for biocontrol or other ecosystem services