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Organic farming at local and landscape scales fosters biological pest control in vineyards

Abstract : While organic farming practices, which are often promoted as models of ecological intensification, generally enhance biodiversity, their effects on the delivery of ecosystem services, such as biological pest control, are still unknown. Here, using a multi-scale hierarchical design in southwestern France, we examined the effects of organic farming and seminatural habitats at the local and landscape scales on biological control services of three pests, including weeds and insects, in 42 vineyards. Organic farming at the local and landscape scales was beneficial to the mean and temporal stability of biological control services, while the proportion of seminatural habitats in the landscape reduced the level of biological pest control potential. The effects of organic farming and seminatural habitats across spatial scales varied with the type of prey considered and with time. Egg moth removal rates were higher in fields under organic management compared to conventional management while weed seed removal rates increased with the proportion of organic farming in the landscape. Larval removal rates as well as seed removal rates were always more stable within time in organic fields than in conventional fields. Moreover, independently of farming system type, local variables describing the agricultural management intensity, such as pesticide use or crop productivity, were also found to be important variables explaining levels of biological control services. Pesticide use tended to reduce biological control potential, while crop productivity was associated with contrasting biological control responses depending on the pest type. Our study demonstrates the need to target multiple spatial scales and to consider farming practices, as well as the proportion of seminatural habitats, to design functional landscapes that optimize biological pest control services.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 25, 2020 - 4:38:01 PM
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Lucile Muneret, Arthur Auriol, Denis Thiery, Adrien Rusch. Organic farming at local and landscape scales fosters biological pest control in vineyards. Ecological Applications, Ecological Society of America, 2019, 29 (1), pp.1-15. ⟨10.1002/eap.1818⟩. ⟨hal-02619292⟩



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