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Organic farming expansion drives natural enemy abundance but not diversity in vineyard‐dominated landscapes

Abstract : Organic farming is seen as a prototype of ecological intensification potentially able to conciliate crop productivity and biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes. However, how natural enemies, an important functional group supporting pest control services, respond to organic farming at different scales and in different landscape contexts remain unclear. Using a hierarchical design within a vineyard-dominated region located in southwestern France, we examine the independent effects of organic farming and semi-natural habitats at the local and landscape scales on natural enemies. We show that the proportion of organic farming is a stronger driver of species abundance than the proportion of semi-natural habitats and is an important facet of landscape heterogeneity shaping natural enemy assemblages. Although our study highlights a strong taxonomic group-dependency about the effect of organic farming, organic farming benefits to dominant species while rare species occur at the same frequency in the two farming systems. Independently of farming systems, enhancing field age, reducing crop productivity, soil tillage intensity, and pesticide use are key management options to increase natural enemy biodiversity. Our study indicates that policies promoting the expansion of organic farming will benefit more to ecological intensification strategies seeking to enhance ecosystem services than to biodiversity conservation.
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Lucile Muneret, Arthur Auriol, Olivier Bonnard, Sylvie Richart-Cervera, Denis Thiery, et al.. Organic farming expansion drives natural enemy abundance but not diversity in vineyard‐dominated landscapes. Ecology and Evolution, Wiley Open Access, 2019, online fisrt, pp.1-11. ⟨10.1002/ece3.5810⟩. ⟨hal-02620857⟩

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