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Abundance and Population Decline Factors of Chrysopid Juveniles in Olive Groves and Adjacent Trees

Herrera, Rafael Alcalá, Campos, Mercedes, González-Salvadó, Marina, Ruano, Francisca
Insects 2019 v.10 no.5
Baryscapus, Chrysopa, Chrysoperla mediterranea, Olea europaea, Pinus, agroecosystems, almonds, biological control agents, cardboard, groves, habitat conservation, habitats, juveniles, larvae, olives, parasitism, parasitoids, population dynamics, predators, traps, trees, vegetation cover
Numerous species of the family Chrysopidae, commonly found in agroecosystems, whose larvae predate on several pests of economic importance, are regarded as biological control agents. Their abundance and diversity are influenced by vegetation cover, although little is known about the effects of semi-natural habitats on their populations. The objective of this study is to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the trees in semi-natural habitats adjacent to olive groves, juvenile stages of the family Chrysopidae and factors influencing their population decline, which is crucial for an effective habitat management program aimed at conserving these important predators. Using cardboard band traps (eight per tree), the juvenile stages were collected from 25 almond, oak, olive and pine trees over a one-year sampling period. The population decline was caused by parasitoids (26.5%), predators (5.1%) and unknown factors (13.2%). In addition, chrysopids established in olive trees showed the lowest rate of parasitism. We identified ten chrysopid species that emerged from the juveniles collected from almond, oak, olive and pine trees, with a predominance of Pseudomallada prasinus. The chrysopid–parasitoid complex was composed of five species; Baryscapus impeditus (Eulophidae), which was the most abundant, was preferentially associated with Chrysopa pallens, Chrysoperla lucasina and Chrysoperla mediterranea.