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Carabid patterns in olive orchards and woody semi-natural habitats: first implications for conservation biological control against Bactrocera oleae

Albertini, Alice, Pizzolotto, Roberto, Petacchi, Ruggero
BioControl 2017 v.62 no.1 pp. 71-83
Bactrocera oleae, Carabidae, adults, agroecosystems, biological control, cost effectiveness, habitats, instars, larvae, natural enemies, olives, orchards, pest control, pests, predators, pupae
The role of carabids (Coleoptera: Carabidae) for pest control service in perennial crop systems has been scarcely investigated. We addressed this knowledge gap exploring activity patterns and traits of adult carabids dwelling olive orchard agroecosystems as potential natural enemies of third instar larvae and pupae of Bactrocera oleae (Diptera: Tephritidae). Olive orchard supported a well-structured carabid assemblage, whose species phenologies revealed a temporal overlapping within the pest cycle. The assemblage of adjacent woody semi-natural habitats is more of conservation interest, but may play a weaker role in B. oleae control provisioning. We suggest the identification of carabids main traits for B. oleae conservation biological control as a cost-effective strategy for addressing future attention and resources only to those predators that satisfy basic requirements. This research may open new scenarios on management interventions to both conserve predators and encourage alternative approaches against olive orchards pest.