Location: Southeast Watershed ResearchTitle: Enhancing resource availability in agro-ecosystems for beneficial arthropods through floral provisioning
|XAVIER, SHEREEN - University Of Georgia|
|SCHMIDT, JASON - University Of Georgia|
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2017
Publication Date: 3/8/2017
Citation: Xavier, S., Olson, D.M., Coffin, A.W., Schmidt, J. 2017. Enhancing resource availability in agro-ecosystems for beneficial arthropods through floral provisioning [abstract]. Georgia Organic Meeting Abstract.
Technical Abstract: There has been a decline in beneficial arthropods (insects and spiders) including pollinators because of habitat destruction and intense management practices. Enhancing landscapes with additional floral and other non-crop habitats has the potential to attract pollinators, and predatory arthropods which feed on crop pests. We established 19 field buffers containing sub-plots of a potential biofuel crop, napier grass, and seven treatments of different native floral mixes on University of Georgia experimental farms. Results from observations of arthropod visiting rates to the flowers indicated that a greater diversity of floral resources attracted a greater number of beneficial arthropods. The flowers observed were influenced by irrigation and location within the landscape (plots abutting woodland or agriculture) with higher flowering occurring in irrigated plots next to agricultural fields and non-irrigated plots next to woodland with the lowest flowering areas in irrigated pots next to woodland. There were more beneficial arthropods than pests of crops in the flower plots suggesting that planting flowers in agricultural landscapes may increase pollinators and other beneficial arthropods for biological control of crop pests.