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Agriculture & Food, Volume 11, 2023

Peter P. O’Donnell, Wendy Wright
Pages: 1-19
Published: 13 Nov 2023
DOI: 10.62991/AF1996262213
Views: 753
Downloads: 145
Abstract: Investigating the community dynamics of ecosystem service-providing arthropods in non-crop habitats within agroecosystems is crucial in promoting ecological intensification methods that further contribute to engineering sustainable agroecosystems. Arthropods are important as drivers of ecosystem functions and processes, such as pollination and pest suppression. The specific objectives of this study were to compare arthropod assemblages in blocks of native remnant vegetation and exotic pastures, and survey abundances and diversity of beneficial arthropods between remnant vegetation and adjacent pasture in early spring (September 2009) and mid-summer (December 2009 - January 2010) on two farms in southeastern Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. The structure of arthropod communities were significantly different between the core of remnant vegetation and pasture sites in both seasons. Arthropod community assemblages at the edge of remnant vegetation were significantly different compared to assemblages 20 m in adjacent pasture in early spring. However, these assemblages were not distinctly different in mid-summer. Apidae (bees) were of similar abundances in the two habitats. Carabidae (ground beetles) was the only taxa to have significantly higher abundances at pasture sites in early spring. Seven of the 14 ant genera collected, ten spider families and Xylophagidae (awl flies) were found exclusively in remnant vegetation. Bethylidae (bethylids) and Dolichopodidae (long-legged flies) were not found 80 m into adjacent pasture during either season. In early spring, Araneae (spiders), Lycosidae (wolf spiders), Staphylinidae (rove beetles), Bethylidae (bethylids), Syrphidae (hoverflies) and Formicidae (ants) were found to have significantly higher abundances in the core or edge of remnant vegetation compared to pasture sites; in mid-summer the higher taxonomic groups showed no significant differences between sites. These results demonstrate that beneficial arthropods use remnant vegetation as refugia in early spring and that remnant vegetation enhanced invertebrate conservation in pasture systems. Relevance of these findings to improved biological control is also discussed.
Keywords: beneficial invertebrate, remnant vegetation, natural enemy, non-crop habitat, native vegetation
Cite this article: Peter P. O’Donnell, Wendy Wright. ASSESSING THE CONSERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT VALUE OF BLOCKS OF REMNANT VEGETATION ON BENEFICIAL ARTHROPOD ASSEMBLAGES IN A PASTURE LANDSCAPE. Journal of International Scientific Publications: Agriculture & Food 11, 1-19 (2023).
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