Impact of a long-term mating-disruption management in crops on non-target insects in the surrounding area
Journal of Insect Conservation
Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Tel-Hai College, 12210 Upper Galilee, Israel; Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Protecting insects in agro-ecosystems may result in substantial benefits assuming that numerous species produce ecological services. The impact of pesticides on non-target insects is a function of the number of treatments, chemical product, amount of active ingredients and the method of application in the fields, together with their persistence in the environment. To reduce the use of these products, several methods of integrated pest management were developed in agriculture. Among them mating-disruption (MD) is widely employed, for example against the codling moth Cydia pomonella L., a key pest in apple orchards. MD should minimize the negative impacts of chemical pest management on non-target insects in the vegetation surrounding the orchards. We investigated this hypothesis in a long-term MD program on insect populations in the edges of managed plots, using five gall-inducing aphid species in 135 Pistacia palaestina trees. The highest aphid species richness was found in trees growing away from orchards followed by trees in orchards close to Kiwi patches which were never sprayed with insecticides. Intermediate aphid species richness was revealed in parcels where MD against codling moth has been carried out during the last 18 years. In these plots, reduced number of chemical treatments was used against secondary pests each year. Trees in orchards with intensive chemical treatment with insecticide had almost no galls. In conclusion, the populations of the five non-target species in the adjacent natural environment did not suffer significantly from the few chemical treatments. The long term MD program of C. pomonella has a minimum disruption on non-target species in the orchards and their immediate surroundings. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
agricultural ecosystem; aphid; biodiversity; insecticide; mating disruption; moth; nontarget organism; orchard; pheromone; species conservation; species richness; Aphididae; Cydia pomonella; Hexapoda; Lepidoptera; Malus x domestica; Pistacia; Pistacia palaestina