Field margin vegetation enhances biological control and crop dama

henry_kuskaJanuary 6, 2014

Title: "Field margin vegetation enhances biological control and crop damage suppression from multiple pests in organic tomato fields"

Only the abstract is available on line.

The following is the conclusion section from the full paper:
"Conclusion
Tomato cropping systems are characterized by a diverse
prey��"natural enemy complex, and consequently habitat
management strategies for enhanced biocontrol need to
give due consideration to the ecological requirements of
natural enemies and factors that may reduce pest damage.
The abundance of most natural enemy groups was higher
in sown flowering strips than in the relatively heterogeneous
semi-natural edges, characteristic of the Mediterranean
region. Sown flowering strips acted as a trap-crop for
N. viridula and Lygus spp., whereas higher aphid parasitismrate
and decreased rate of foliar feeding on the crop by
lepidopteran pests were recorded. However, semi-natural
edges appear to perform better early in the cropping season,
when sown wildflower strips had not yet initiated
flowering, and lower aphid counts and pest damage were
recorded. Semi-natural edges may be important for the
conservation of within-field non-crop plant diversity and
may enhance early crop colonization by natural enemies.
However, when nectar-producing plants were included in
field margins, these performed significantly better at
reducing pest damage from multiple pests later in the
growing season. The conservation of vegetation diversity
in uncropped field edges and inclusion of nectar-producing
plants, through habitat manipulations, may be considered
as complementary strategies for enhancing the
conservation of natural enemies and pest and crop-injury
suppression in tomato cropping systems within the study
area."

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eea.12142/abstract

Here is a link that might be useful: link for abstract

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pnbrown

I guess I'm not sure what is meant by "semi-natural edges". How far from the crop and is it a zone where whatever grasses, forbs, and shrubs grow feral?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:02PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Proper citation for the above linked and only recently published article is required. Exporting without proper attached citation is prohibited on the site.

Per citation instructions attached to the article:

Balzan, M. V. and Moonen, A.-C. (2014), Field margin vegetation enhances biological control and crop damage suppression from multiple pests in organic tomato fields. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 150: 45�"65. doi: 10.1111/eea.12142

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 1:47PM
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henry_kuska

digdirt, I am not sure of the meaning of your post. Do you feel that my giving the actual link is not a proper citation? Or are you asking me to cut and paste the full paper because you feel that as long as I give the proper citation it is allowed?
------------------------------------------------
Regarding pnbrown's question: "A simple wildflower mixture was sown in each field on two dates to increase the flowering period. The first sowing date was 7��"14 days after the planting of tomatoes, while an adjacent strip was sown 14 days later. Sown flower strips were 25 m long and 3 m wide. Sown seed mixtures consisted of 4��"5 plant species native or established within the Mediterranean region, and which are known to flower during the summer months, and to produce floral nectar,
and for this reason have often been included in wildflower
strips. During the first growing season, borage (Borago officinalis L.) did not germinate and was thus removed from the flower mixture of the subsequent year (2012). Another two species, fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), were added to this initial floral mixture during 2012 (Table 1)............."The sown wildflower strips and regenerated margins were either on the same side of the field at a distance of 30 mfrom each other or, when it was not possible to accommodate this setup in a central part of a field edge, they were placed on opposite margins. When treatment
strips were sown on opposite field margins, the treatment
plots were always at a distance of more than 30 m and
were characterized by a similar surrounding vegetation
(e.g., both adjacent to a herbaceous margin) and the adjacent land-use cover for all margins in all fields was arable land (Appendix 1). "

From the instructions:
"How to Cite
Balzan, M. V. and Moonen, A.-C. (2014), Field margin vegetation enhances biological control and crop damage suppression from multiple pests in organic tomato fields. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 150: 45��"65. doi: 10.1111/eea.12142"

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 2:46PM
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lazy_gardens

Henry - Instead of robo-pasting these things, please add some commentary about WHY you think it's relevant to the average home gardener. And HOW you think we can implement it in a home garden.

In other words: put some thought into what you are doing instead of flooding the forum with posts.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 3:53PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Arable field margins and conservation strips have been used here for many years as wildlife corridors and havens under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. While this is an excellent practice it is not news and it's not something I can usefully employ in my tiny home garden. I could post links but Googling will bring up plenty of references for anyone who really wants them.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 4:59PM
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henry_kuska

lazygardens, your suggestion is one way to introduce a discussion. I normally do not follow that route because I do not think that there is such a thing as an average reader of this forum (for example, some may be just starting out and some may be experts). Also being a forum for Organic Gardeners, it can cover a very wide range of interests (i.e. plants). This research was undertaken for organic tomato fields. I grow organic roses. Those interested in organic tomatoes can discuss it if they feel discussion is of interest to them. Others may feel that they may want to apply the concept to their organic garden plants. For organic roses it is common to try to attract beneficial insects and discourage "bad" bugs. I would be very interested if someone would take the time to post a reference to a scientific study concerning the growing of organic roses .

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 5:15PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Henry, I like what lazygardens posted. Please put some warmth into your posts.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:13PM
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henry_kuska

wayne, perhaps you will be interested in this post from 8/30/1995.

" FMF...@prodigy.com (Henry Kuska) wrote:
>>Perhaps the difference is that many people in rec.gardening are growing
>>things they eat. Whereas here we would not usually ingest the chemicals
>we
>>use, merely breathe them and absorb them through the skin, which should
>be
>>perfectly harmless.
>>
> Well said. I hope people get your point.
A second reading shows the dry humor of Mr Kuska and I apologize for
thinking him a promoter of poison, which is precisely what he is not.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 7:51PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

There has been a lot of field work among organic and conventional farmers here in California on planting or managing beneficial habitats on field margins and even within fields as special strip planting. Lygus bugs (similar to aphids) tend to pour out of wildlands in spring time in the Central Valley and attack numerous kinds of crops.

Here on the coast we have less pest pressure. At the farm we have field margins and islands within the farm planted to flowers and natives mostly known to support the kinds of predators and parasites of farm pests. We grow grains over winter to attract and hold the early waves of migrating ladybugs who as adults are attracted to the pollen and soon enough find aphids or other insect colonies into which the both feed and lay eggs.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 8:12PM
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elisa_z5

Fedco Seeds sells a seed package called "beneficial insect mix" (this kind of mix is probably available other places as well. I planted it in my garden one year, but it sounds like it would be more, um, beneficial to establish these plants along a fence line and hope for them to reseed year after year.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:02PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I have a farm field across the fence from me. I try to keep a border of tall grass, wild grape vines, and bushes to help protect against herbicides and hard winds. Oh, the luxury of a flower border instead!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 6:06PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

As well as 'wild' field margins, Beetle Banks are widely used here by both organic and conventional farmers. Again, not a new idea, as marshallz10 said.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beetle Banks

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 6:59AM
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pnbrown

Clearly not a new idea.

So by 'semi-natural edge' they mean the wildflower strips?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 8:53AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Sometimes crop plants cultivated in adjacent fields are included. Wild flowers are not necessarily best, the selection should be on the kinds of inflorescences to attract beneficial insects (Umbelliferae expecially)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 10:27AM
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elisa_z5

Wayne -- my fence border is actually a mass of wild raspberry brambles, milk weed, tangled vines, etc. Other side is a hay field, though -- no pesticides. Establishing a neat little flower border would be quite out of character for me, I realized.

But where my round bales of hay have sat is usually a really nice circle of a lasagne bed (once the bale is used up.) These are in random places in the yard, near the garden. So I might try beneficial mix circles.

Beneficial mix islands on lasagne circles!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 10:50AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

elisa, Nice to hear. I have heard that these borders can be a winter hiding place for some nasty bugs and creatures so we do need an appealing habitat for the good guys. I find that fruit tree blossoms, mustard blooms, clover, and islands of different flowers provide a draw for the good guys. A favorite for me is to see a humming bird at a gladoulus

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 11:15AM
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