Native flowering shrubs promote beneficial insects in avocado orchards

Munoz, Alejandra E.; Amouroux, Paul; Zaviezo, Tania


Flower strips can promote and conserve beneficial insects in agroecosystems. Knowing which groups are favoured and which plant traits affect visitation rates by beneficial insects is important for the design of plant strips. We established 21 Native Flower Strips (NFS) in avocado orchards in Central Chile. NFS contained 7-11 plant species, with variable corolla length and flowering period, to promote beneficial insects. We assessed flight activity of ladybirds (Coccinellidae) and bees (Apiformes) in sites adjacent to and far from NFS within avocado orchards. Additionally, we evaluated flower visitation for the main flower visitor groups (Apiformes, Lepidoptera, Diptera, and Coleoptera) to the plant species in NFS according to season and corolla length. We found almost six times greater flight activity of coccinellids and bees in NFS than sites far from NFS within avocado orchards. Visitation rates of pollinator groups varied according to corolla length and season. Diptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera consistently visited short corolla flowers. NFS were highly visited in summer and autumn, when avocados were not in bloom. NFS in orchards should be encouraged by policymakers because they support beneficial insects that could deliver ecosystem services and contribute to local biological conservation.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000645853700001 Not found in local WOS DB
Editorial: Wiley
Fecha de publicación: 2021


Notas: ISI