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Impact of pest control strategies on the arthropodofauna living in bird nests built in nestboxes in pear and apple orchards

  • Lise Roy (a1), Jean-Charles Bouvier (a2), Claire Lavigne (a2), Mathieu Galès (a2) and Thierry Buronfosse (a1)...

Pesticide applications have a strong impact on biodiversity in agroecosystems. The present study aimed to assess the impact of pest control strategies on the arthropodofauna of Parus major nests built within nestboxes installed in orchards. Unlike many studied groups, these arthropod communities are not in direct contact with pesticide sprays (on account of their being sheltered by nestboxes) and are also unable to move away from the treated area. In this pilot study, we estimated the prevalence and the taxonomic and ecological diversities of arthropodofauna sampled in the nests and assessed the extent to which the whole and nest-specific arthropodofauna were affected by pest control strategies. Sixteen different insect and arachnid Primary Taxonomic Groups (PTGs, order level or below) were found in nests. The best represented PTGs (⩾10% occurrence in years 2007 and 2008) were Psocoptera (Insecta, detritivorous/saprophagous), detritivorous/saprophagous Astigmata (Acari) and hematophagous Mesostigmata (Acari). Pest control strategies had a large impact on the prevalence of arthropods in nests, with higher proportions of nests hosting arthropods in organic orchards than in conventional orchards and with intermediate proportions in nests in Integrated Pest Management orchards. In contrast, pest control strategies had no significant effect on the composition of the arthropod communities when only nests hosting nidicolous arthropods were considered.

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Bulletin of Entomological Research
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