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Vegetation increases abundances of ground and canopy arthropods in Mediterranean vineyards

Abstract : The decline of arthropod populations observed in many parts of the world is a major component of the sixth mass extinction with intensive agriculture being one of its main drivers. Biodiversity-friendly farming practices are taking centre stage in the recovery process. In vineyards, vegetation cover is commonly used for production purposes, to reduce soil compaction by machinery use and soil erosion. Here we examined the effects of vegetation cover and soil management on the abundance of ground- (spiders, beetles, Hemiptera and harvestmen) and canopy-dwelling (wild bees, green lacewings, beetles and Hemiptera) arthropods in three categories of vineyards: (i) vineyards with no vegetation, (ii) partially vegetated (every second inter-row is vegetated) and (iii) all inter-rows are vegetated. We recorded a general positive effect of a decrease in soil perturbation intensity and corresponding higher vegetation cover on arthropod abundance. Plant species richness was the most important vegetation parameter, with a positive effect on spiders, harvestmen, hemipterans and beetles (ground and canopy) abundances. Using a path analysis, we also highlighted the central role of inter-row vegetation management in trophic and non-trophic relationships between vegetation and arthropods, and between arthropod groups. Our results demonstrate the benefits of a softer soil management preserving a diverse vegetation cover for the conservation of arthropods in Mediterranean vineyards.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 21, 2022 - 2:45:27 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 3:03:10 AM

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Chloé Blaise, Christophe Mazzia, Armin Bischoff, Alexandre Millon, Philippe Ponel, et al.. Vegetation increases abundances of ground and canopy arthropods in Mediterranean vineyards. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, 12 (1), pp.3680. ⟨10.1038/s41598-022-07529-1⟩. ⟨hal-03615364⟩

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