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Intercropping with aromatic plants decreases herbivore abundance, species richness, and shifts arthropod community trophic structure


Beizhou, S and Jie, Z and Wiggins, NL and Yuncong, Y and Guangbo, T and Xusheng, S, Intercropping with aromatic plants decreases herbivore abundance, species richness, and shifts arthropod community trophic structure, Environmental Entomology, 41, (4) pp. 872-879. ISSN 0046-225X (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 Entomological Society of America

DOI: doi:10.1603/EN12053


Habitat management is important for the regulation of arthropod community structures to reduce pest populations in orchard ecosystems, but there is limited information on how intercropping with aromatic plants regulates arthropod community structure at trophic levels.Weselected four aromatic plants, Mentha canadensis L., Agerarum houstonianum Mill., Tagetes patula L., and Ocimum basilicum L., as intercrops in apple orchard to analyze the effects of intercropping on herbivore and predator abundance, species richness, and to measure the changes of trophic levels of the associated arthropod community. We found that intercropping with aromatic plants, compared with intercropping with natural herb vegetation, signiŽcantly reduced herbivore abundance and species richness by 25.62 and 11.6%, respectively. Intercropping signiŽcantly increased predator abundance and species richness by 18.78 and 15.6%, respectively, with predator abundance most notably affected during the ßowering period of aromatic plants. Furthermore, herbivore abundance and species richness were strongly negatively correlated with predator species richness. Intercropping affected herbivoreŠpredator dynamics, with an observed increase in the ratios of predator abundance and richness to herbivore abundance and richness. Our results indicate that intercropping with aromatic plants in apple orchards may play a role in the observed shift from a herbivore-dominated to a predator-dominated trophic structure, which is likely to have important ßow-on effects on arthropod community structure.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:orchard, essential oils, herbivore, pest managment, intercropping
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Natural resource management
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Horticultural crops not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Wiggins, NL (Dr Natasha Wiggins)
ID Code:80587
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2012-11-05
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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