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Conservation agriculture affects arthropod community composition in a rainfed maize–wheat system in central Mexico

by Rivers, A; Barbercheck, M; Verhulst, N; Govaerts, B.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2016Subject(s): Conservation tillage | Crop residuesOnline resources: Click here to access online In: Applied Soil Ecology 2016, vol.100, p.81-90Summary: As a system of practices involving crop rotations, reduced soil disturbance, and the retention of organic matter at the soil surface, conservation agriculture (CA) increases soil quality, reduces erosion, and provides a favorable habitat for beneficial soil-dwelling organisms which may provide improved pest control. To determine the effect of CA on generalist arthropod predators and pests, we assessed the ground-dwelling arthropod assemblage prior to crop planting and shortly after crop emergence in a longterm CA trial at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in central Mexico. We used pitfall traps and in-field sentinel insect assay arenas to evaluate arthropod activity-density and predation, respectively, in a maize–wheat rotation, planted under CA (zero tillage, retention of residues) and conventional agriculture (tillage and no surface residue). In maize, activity-density of generalist predators (excluding ants) was higher in conventional agriculture treatments than in CA treatments prior to crop planting (P = 0.03), but no significant differences were apparent in arthropod activity-densities at the treatment level at any other time. In multivariate analyses, the arthropod community was affected by tillage in maize at both sampling dates (P 0.05), and by residue after crop emergence in wheat (P = 0.03). Spiders trended toward a greater association with no-till treatments in maize and treatments with residue retained in wheat. In wheat, predation (biological control potential) was significantly lower in conventional compared with CA treatments (P 0.05). According to multiple linear regressions, higher levels of soil cover significantly explained predation before and after planting in maize, and before planting in wheat (P 0.05). Our results indicate that the type and amount of residue that remains at the soil surface may influence arthropod community dynamics. This first report of the effects of CA on arthropods in this long-term trial indicates that CA in central Mexico may contribute to conservation of certain arthropod predators and biological control of insect pests.
List(s) this item appears in: CIMMYT-SIP 2016-2017 Peer-reviewed publications list
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Journal article
CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

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As a system of practices involving crop rotations, reduced soil disturbance, and the retention of organic
matter at the soil surface, conservation agriculture (CA) increases soil quality, reduces erosion, and
provides a favorable habitat for beneficial soil-dwelling organisms which may provide improved pest
control. To determine the effect of CA on generalist arthropod predators and pests, we assessed the
ground-dwelling arthropod assemblage prior to crop planting and shortly after crop emergence in a longterm
CA trial at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in central Mexico. We
used pitfall traps and in-field sentinel insect assay arenas to evaluate arthropod activity-density and
predation, respectively, in a maize–wheat rotation, planted under CA (zero tillage, retention of residues)
and conventional agriculture (tillage and no surface residue). In maize, activity-density of generalist
predators (excluding ants) was higher in conventional agriculture treatments than in CA treatments prior
to crop planting (P = 0.03), but no significant differences were apparent in arthropod activity-densities at
the treatment level at any other time. In multivariate analyses, the arthropod community was affected by
tillage in maize at both sampling dates (P

0.05), and by residue after crop emergence in wheat (P = 0.03).
Spiders trended toward a greater association with no-till treatments in maize and treatments with
residue retained in wheat. In wheat, predation (biological control potential) was significantly lower in
conventional compared with CA treatments (P

0.05). According to multiple linear regressions, higher
levels of soil cover significantly explained predation before and after planting in maize, and before
planting in wheat (P

0.05). Our results indicate that the type and amount of residue that remains at the
soil surface may influence arthropod community dynamics. This
first report of the effects of CA on
arthropods in this long-term trial indicates that CA in central Mexico may contribute to conservation of
certain arthropod predators and biological control of insect pests.

http://diglib-cc3/Download/cis/57224.pdf

Conservation Agriculture Program

Text in english

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