References of "Francis, Frédéric"
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See detailThe scent of love: how important are semiochemicals in the sexual behavior of lady beetles?
Fassotte, Bérénice ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg; Verheggen, François ULg

in Journal of Pest Science (in press)

Chemical signals are involved in the courtship behavior of many invertebrate and vertebrate species. Lady beetles are no exception to this rule; a significant number of published reports highlight the ... [more ▼]

Chemical signals are involved in the courtship behavior of many invertebrate and vertebrate species. Lady beetles are no exception to this rule; a significant number of published reports highlight the role of cuticular chemicals involved in the reproduction of lady beetles, including gender recognition. Recent data have also demonstrated the presence of a volatile female sex pheromone that facilitates male attraction in some species. Here, we present a synthetic overview of the current knowledge about the sexual behavior of lady beetles and associated chemicals for which the function and identification have been provided. Because lady beetles are often reared as biological control agents, the chemical cues involved in their sexual behavior could be used as components in integrated management approaches against soft-bodied hemipterans. In conclusion, this review provides new perspectives and potential developments for sustainable insect management mainly based on the semiochemicals involved in the sexual behavior of lady beetles. A better understanding of these chemical signals would help maximize their presence in areas where their predatory behavior is requested, as a result of the application of formulations inducing behavioral manipulation. [less ▲]

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See detailHistopathological effects of Aspergillus clavatus (Ascomycota: Trichocomaceae) on larvae of the southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae)
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Seye, Fawrou; Boukraa, Slimane ULg et al

in Fungal Biology (in press)

Aspergillus clavatus (Ascomycota: Trichocomaceae) was previously found to be an opportunistic pathogen of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). In the present study, the mechanism leading to its insecticidal ... [more ▼]

Aspergillus clavatus (Ascomycota: Trichocomaceae) was previously found to be an opportunistic pathogen of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). In the present study, the mechanism leading to its insecticidal activity was investigated regarding histological damages on Culex quinquefasciatus larvae exposed to A. clavatus spores. Multiple concentration assays using spore suspensions (0.5 x 10^8 to 2.5 x 10^8 spores/ml) revealed 17.0% to 74.3% corrected mortalities after 48 h exposure. Heat-deactivated spores induced a lower mortality compared to non-heated spores suggesting that insecticidal effects are actively exerted. Spore-treated and untreated larvae were prepared for light microscopy as well as for scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Spores failed to adhere to the external body surface (except the mouth parts) of these aquatic immature stages but progressively filled the digestive tract where their metabolism seemed to activate. In parallel, the internal tissues of the larvae, i.e. the midgut wall, the skeletal muscles, and the cuticle-secreting epidermis, were progressively destroyed between 8 and 24 h of exposure. These observations suggest that toxins secreted by active germinating spores of A. clavatus in the digestive tract altered the larval tissues, leading to their necrosis and causing larval death. Fungal proliferation and sporulation then occurred during a saprophytic phase. A. clavatus enzymes or toxins responsible for these pathogenic effects need to be identified in further studies before any use of this fungus in mosquito control. [less ▲]

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See detailProduction of two entomopathogenic Aspergillus species and insecticidal activity against the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus compared to Metarhizium anisopliae
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Seye, Fawrou; Boukraa, Slimane ULg et al

in Biocontrol Science & Technology (in press)

Entomopathogenic micro-organisms including fungi have become increasingly studied for integrated pest management. The spore productivity and insecticidal activity of two opportunistic insect pathogenic ... [more ▼]

Entomopathogenic micro-organisms including fungi have become increasingly studied for integrated pest management. The spore productivity and insecticidal activity of two opportunistic insect pathogenic Aspergillus species (namely: Aspergillus clavatus Desmazieres and Aspergillus flavus Link (Ascomycota: Eurotiales, Trichocomaceae)) were compared to Metarhizium anisopliae sensu lato (Metchnikoff) Sorokin (Ascomycota: Hypocreales, Clavicipitaceae) for mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) control. The production of aerial spores on wheat bran and white rice was investigated in solid-, semi-solid-, and liquid-state media supplemented with a nutritive solution. Wheat bran-based media were suitable for spore production and increased the spore yield in solid-state from 3 to 7 fold: A. clavatus produced 48.4 ± 5.2 and 15.7 ± 1.6 x 10^8 spores/g, A. flavus produced 22.3 ± 4.1 and 3.1 ± 2.5 x 10^8 spores/g, and M. anisopliae produced 39.6 ± 6.5 and 13.1 ± 2.6 x 10^8 spores/g of wheat bran or white rice, respectively. A. clavatus, A. flavus and M. anisopliae spores harvested from wheat bran-based solid-state media showed lethal concentrations (LC50) of 1.1, 1.8, and 1.3 x 10^8 spores/ml against Culex quinquefasciatus Say larvae in 72 h. Because A. clavatus and M. anisopliae displayed similar features when cultured under these conditions, our results suggest that insect pathogenic Aspergillus species may be as productive and virulent against mosquito larvae as a well-recognized entomopathogenic fungus. Wheat bran could advantageously be used in large-scale fermentation for a possible cost-effective pest control using these fungi. [less ▲]

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See detailBACTERIA MAY CONTRIBUTE TO DISTANT SPECIES RECOGNITION IN ANT-APHID MUTUALISTIC RELATIONSHIPS
Fischer, Christophe ULg; Detrain, Claire; Thonart, Philippe ULg et al

in Insect Science (in press)

Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids ... [more ▼]

Mutualistic interactions between ant and aphid species have been the subject of considerable historical and contemporary investigations, the primary benefits being cleaning and protection for the aphids and carbohydrate-rich honeydew for the ants. Questions remained, however, as to the volatile semiochemical factor influencing this relationship. A recent study highlighted the role of bacterial honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction. Here, ant’s ability to distantly discriminate two aphid species was investigated based on bacterial honeydew semiochemicals emissions using a two-way olfactometer. Both the mutualistic black bean aphid (Aphis fabae L.) and the non-myrmecophilous pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris) were found to be attractive for the black garden ant (Lasius niger L.). The level of attraction was similar in both assays (control versus one of the aphid species). However, when given a choice between these two aphid species, ants showed a significant preference for Aphis fabae. Honeydew volatiles, mostly from bacterial origins, are known to be a key element in ant attraction. Using the same olfactometry protocol, the relative attractiveness of volatiles emitted by honeydews collected from each aphid species and by bacteria isolated from each honeydew was in investigated. Again, ants significantly preferred volatiles released by Aphis fabae honeydew and bacteria. This information suggests that microbial honeydew volatiles enable ants to distantly discriminate aphid species. These results emphasize the importance of investigating the presence and potential effects of microbes in insect symbioses. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing the foraging behavior of Agriotes sordidus wireworms in dual-choice olfactometers
Barsics, Fanny ULg; Fiers, Marie; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure ULg et al

in Communications in Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences (in press)

The different steps of the foraging process of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) would be better understood if accurate and holistic information regarding the role of plant-produced chemicals ... [more ▼]

The different steps of the foraging process of wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) would be better understood if accurate and holistic information regarding the role of plant-produced chemicals constituting their environment were available. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) play important roles in the interactions between plants and insects in many ecosystems, whether they take place aboveground or belowground. The roles of VOC are still relatively unknown for wireworms, and deserve attention. Here, we performed three experimentations with barley roots as baits. In the two first, we assessed the effect of chopped roots and fungus infected roots on the orientation of wireworms. In the third experiment, the larvae were confronted to both healthy and fungus infected roots. We discuss the results in terms of suitability of the olfactometers we designed for the investigation of olfaction in wireworms, and we provide suggestions to improve their use. [less ▲]

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See detailDiversity and ecology survey of mosquitoes potential vectors in Belgian equestrian farms: A threat prevention of mosquito-borne equine arboviruses
Boukraa, Slimane ULg; de la Grandière, Maria Ana ULg; Bawin, Thomas ULg et al

in Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2016), 124

Emergence of West Nile Virus was recently recorded in several European countries, which can lead to severe health problems in horse populations. Europe is also at risk of introduction of mosquito-borne ... [more ▼]

Emergence of West Nile Virus was recently recorded in several European countries, which can lead to severe health problems in horse populations. Europe is also at risk of introduction of mosquito-borne equine alphavirus from Americas. Prevention of these arboviruses requires a clear understanding of transmission cycles, especially their vectors. To characterize mosquito fauna, their ecology and identify potential vectors of equine arboviruses in Belgium, entomological surveys of six equestrian farms located in the Wolloon Region were conducted during 2011–2012. The harvest of mosquitoes was based on larval sampling (272 samples from 111 breeding sites) and monthly adults trapping (CO2-baited traps, Mosquito Magnet Liberty Plus). Among 51,493 larvae and 319 adult mosquitoes collected, morphological identification showed the presence of 11 species: Anopheles claviger (Meigen), An. maculipennis s.l. (Meigen), An. plumbeus (Stephens), Culex hortensis (Ficalbi), Cx. territans (Walker), Cx. pipiens s.l. L., Cx. torrentium (Martini), Coquillettidia richiardii (Ficalbi), Culiseta annulata (Schrank), Aedes cantans (Meigen), Ae. geniculatus (Olivier). Molecular identification of Cx. pipiens species complex allowed the detection of three molecular forms, Pipiens (92.3%), Molestus (4.6%) and Hybrid (3.1%). Larvae of Cx. pipiens sl and Cx. torrentium were omnipresent and the most abundant species. Water troughs, ponds and slurry (liquid manure) were the most favorable breeding sites of mosquito larvae. Based upon behavior and ecology of the identified mosquito species, Studied Belgian equestrian farms seem to provide a suitable environment and breeding sites for the proliferation of potential vectors of arboviruses and those being a real nuisance problem for horses and neighboring inhabitants. [less ▲]

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See detailAbility of Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) to develop on alternative host plant species
Bawin, Thomas ULg; Dujeu, David; De Backer, Lara ULg et al

in Canadian Entomologist (2015)

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a widespread devastating pest reported to develop on economically important solanaceous crops. The characterization of its host ... [more ▼]

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a widespread devastating pest reported to develop on economically important solanaceous crops. The characterization of its host range could help to understand and prevent the dispersion behavior of the insect in the environment. In this study, the ability of T. absoluta to develop on 12 cultivated or non-cultivated plants including Solanaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Fabaceae and Malvaceae species under laboratory conditions was assessed. For each plant species, we monitored the development times of immature stages, survival, sex ratios and adult fecundity rates. All the 6 tested non-solanaceous plants, including Chenopodium, Convolvulus and Malva species, were not able to sustain (i.e. allow growth and development) T. absoluta larvae. Among Solanaceae, Solanum species were the most suitable host plants for the pest, but others could be opportunistically colonized with fewer incidences. T. absoluta appears to be strongly related to solanaceous plants which would predominantly support self-sustaining field populations. Preventing crop infestation by removing potential host plants in the immediate field vicinity and culture rotations with non-solanaceous crops is of primary importance. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular detection of six (endo-) symbiotic bacteria in Belgian mosquitoes: first step towards the selection of appropriate paratransgenesis candidates
Raharimalala, Fara Nantenaina; Boukraa, Slimane ULg; Bawin, Thomas ULg et al

in Parasitology Research (2015)

Actually, the use of symbiotic bacteria is one of alternative solution to avoid vector resistance to pesticides. In Belgium, among 31 identified mosquito species, 10 were considered as potential vectors ... [more ▼]

Actually, the use of symbiotic bacteria is one of alternative solution to avoid vector resistance to pesticides. In Belgium, among 31 identified mosquito species, 10 were considered as potential vectors. Given to introduction risks of arbovirosis, the purpose of this study was to investigate the presence of symbiosis bacteria in potential mosquito vectors. Eleven species caught from 12 sites in Belgium were used: Culex pipiens s.l., Culex torrentium, Culex hortensis, Anopheles claviger, Anopheles maculipennis s.l., Anopheles plumbeus, Culiseta annulata, Ochlerotatus geniculatus, Ochlerotatus dorsalis, Aedes albopictus, and Coquillettidia richiardii. Six genera of symbiotic bacteria were screened: Wolbachia sp., Comamonas sp, Delftia sp., Pseudomonas sp., Acinetobacter sp., and Asaia sp.Atotal of 173 mosquito individuals (144 larvae and 29 adults) were used for the polymerase chain reaction screening. Wolbachia was not found in any Anopheles species nor Cx. torrentium. A total absence of Comamonas and Delftia was observed in all species. Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Asaia were found in most of species with a high prevalence for Pseudomonas. These results were discussed to develop potential strategy and exploit the variable occurrence of symbiotic bacteria to focus on them to propose biological ways of mosquito control. [less ▲]

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See detailA metagenomic approach from aphid’s hemolymph sheds light on the potential roles of co-existing endosymbionts
De Clerck, Caroline ULg; Fujiwara, Akiko; Joncour, Pauline et al

in Microbiome (2015), 3(63),

Background: Aphids are known to live in symbiosis with specific bacteria, called endosymbionts which can be classified as obligate or accessory. Buchnera aphidicola is generally the only obligatory ... [more ▼]

Background: Aphids are known to live in symbiosis with specific bacteria, called endosymbionts which can be classified as obligate or accessory. Buchnera aphidicola is generally the only obligatory symbiont present in aphids, supplying essential nutrients that are missing in the plants phloem to its host. Pentalonia nigronervosa is the main vector of the banana bunchy top virus, one of the most damageable viruses in banana. This aphid is carrying two symbionts: B. aphidicola (BPn) and Wolbachia sp. (wPn). The high occurrence of Wolbachia in the banana aphid raises questions about the role it plays in this insect. The goal of this study was to go further in the understanding of the role played by the two symbionts in P. nigronervosa. To do so, microinjection tests were made to see the effect of wPn elimination on the host, and then, high-throughput sequencing of the haemolymph was used to analyze the gene content of the symbionts. Results: We observed that the elimination of wPn systematically led to the death of aphids, suggesting that the bacterium could play a mutualistic role. In addition, we identify and annotate 587 and 250 genes for wPn and BPn, respectively, through high-throughput sequencing. Analysis of these genes suggests that the two bacteria are working together for the production of several essential nutrients. The most striking cases are for lysin and riboflavin which are usually provided by B. aphidicola alone to the host. In the banana aphid, the genes involved in the production pathways of these metabolites are shared between the two bacteria making them both essential for the survival of the aphid host. Conclusions: Our results suggest that a co-obligatory symbiosis between B. aphidicola and Wolbachia occurs in the banana aphid, the two bacteria acting together to supply essential nutrients to the host. This is, to our knowledge, the first time Wolbachia is reported to play an essential role in aphids. [less ▲]

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See detailUpdated checklist of the mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of Belgium
Boukraa, Slimane ULg; Dekoninck, Wouter; Versteirt, Veerle et al

in Journal of Vector Ecology : Journal of the Society for Vector Ecology (2015), 40(2), 398-407

Most information about the systematics and bioecology of Belgian mosquitoes dates back from before 1950, and only scattered information was produced during the last decades. In this paper we review and ... [more ▼]

Most information about the systematics and bioecology of Belgian mosquitoes dates back from before 1950, and only scattered information was produced during the last decades. In this paper we review and update the list of mosquito species recorded in Belgium, from first report (1908) to 2015. Six genera and 31 species were recorded so far, including 28 autochthonous species and three invasive alien species recently recorded in Belgium: Aedes albopictus (Skuse 1894), Ae. japonicus japonicus (Theobald 1901), and Ae. koreicus (Edwards 1917). The six genera are Anopheles (five species), Aedes (sixteen species), Coquillettidia (one species), Culex (four species), Culiseta (four species), and Orthopodomyia (one species). [less ▲]

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See detailLes insectes dans l'agriculture
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2015)

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See detailImpact of Regiella insecticola infection on EBF production in Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris
Bauwens, Julien ULg; Mazzucchelli, Gabriel ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg et al

Conference (2015, November 06)

Symbionts of aphids influence their host from many points of view. We investigate the potential influence of bacterial symbionts on the production and emission of the aphid alarm pheromone, E-β-franesene ... [more ▼]

Symbionts of aphids influence their host from many points of view. We investigate the potential influence of bacterial symbionts on the production and emission of the aphid alarm pheromone, E-β-franesene. Some trends could be observed in the total EβF production. Particularly, aphid strains infected by Buchnera only seemed to produce less alarm pheromone. By contrast, the presence of Regiella insecticola seemed to increase EβF production. Mevalonate pathway was investigated by RT-qPCR. This analysis showed a slightly lower transcription level o mIPPS in Regiella-infected strains. This enzyme is involved in the last step of EβF production. By contrast, two enzymes involved respectively in the linkage and release of farnesyl moeities on proteins c-terminal ends. Escape tests were conducted to assay if these results were traduced by differential behavior in front of a predator. Preliminary results showed significantly higher dropping behavior for Regiella-infected strains. [less ▲]

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See detailDo changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration affect aphid alarm signaling?
Boullis, Antoine ULg; Appeldoorn, Claire; Oostrom, Marjolein et al

Conference (2015, November 06)

The effects of global atmospheric changes on vegetation and associated insect populations are increasingly studied, but how these gases affect the interactions between herbivore insects and their natural ... [more ▼]

The effects of global atmospheric changes on vegetation and associated insect populations are increasingly studied, but how these gases affect the interactions between herbivore insects and their natural enemies is less clear. As the efficacy of natural enemies is governed largely by behavioral mechanisms, changes in the behavior of insect prey defenses can change the dynamics of insect populations. The impact of increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations on aphid population dynamic is well documented. However, few publications about their chemical ecology are reported. Aphids are using many chemical signals to communicate with each other or with their environment. For example aphids produce an alarm pheromone to signal the presence of a natural enemy in the colony. For our experiments, aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) were reared on Vicia faba L. in home-made Plexiglas® chambers, allowing us to control the CO2 concentration, temperature and humidity. Aphids were reared under both ambient (aCO2 ≈ 400 ppm) and elevated (eCO2 ≈ 800 ppm) CO2 concentration for several generations. Here we quantified the emission of (E)-β-Farnesene (EβF - main compound of alarm pheromone) released by predated aphids reared under ambient or elevated CO2 concentration, with two different methods: a real-time analysis, and the total amount analysis. The EβF content of whole aphid bodies was also analyzed, as well as the escape behavior of aphid colony according to the growing conditions of aphid populations. These results will be discussed in terms of biological control in future climate. [less ▲]

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See detailSpecies diversity and abundance of aphids and their natural enemies in a crop association
Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg; Hatt, Séverin ULg; Starý, Petr et al

Poster (2015, November)

Crop associations can be efficient to reduce aphid populations, by disrupting the visual and olfactory location of host plants. However, increasing the chemical and structural complexity of vegetation can ... [more ▼]

Crop associations can be efficient to reduce aphid populations, by disrupting the visual and olfactory location of host plants. However, increasing the chemical and structural complexity of vegetation can also decrease the searching efficiency of predators and parasitoids, which are not always more abundant in complex habitats. Using attractive semiochemicals such as methyl salicylate (MeSA) combined with a crop association seems promising to maximise aphid control. We compared the abundances of aphids and their natural enemies between a wheat-pea mixture (with and without MeSA) and pure stands, using yellow traps and observations on plants. Significantly higher numbers of pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) were observed in the pure stand of pea compared with the mixture (with and without MeSA) in 2013 and 2014. Concerning aphid natural enemies, hoverfly larvae abundance was not significantly different between treatments in both years. Parasitoid mummies were significantly more abundant in the pure stand of pea compared with the mixture (with and without MeSA) in 2014. Fifty-two aphid species were collected in yellow traps, as well as 12 Aphidiinae and four Aphelinus species. Acyrthosiphon primulae, Aphelinus daucicola, Aphelinus fusciscapus, Aphidius asteris, Aphidius eadyi, Metopolophium frisicum, Praon barbatum, and Trioxys auctus were recorded for the first time in Belgium. Besides determining the effects of a wheat-pea mixture (with or without MeSA) on aphid control, this study contributed to increase the knowledge on aphid and their parasitoid diversity in Belgium, by recording new species and establishing the first Aphidiinae and Aphelinus national checklist. [less ▲]

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See detailFungal biofilm reactor improves the quality of a fusion protein GLA::GFP produced by Aspergillus oryzae
Zune, Quentin ULg; Delepierre, Anissa ULg; Bauwens, Julien ULg et al

Poster (2015, October)

Fungal biofilm is known to promote the excretion of secondary metabolites, in accordance with solid-state related physiological mechanisms. In this work, the potentialities of fungal biofilm will be ... [more ▼]

Fungal biofilm is known to promote the excretion of secondary metabolites, in accordance with solid-state related physiological mechanisms. In this work, the potentialities of fungal biofilm will be investigated in the context of the production of a Gla::GFP fusion protein by Aspergillus oryzae. Since the production of this protein is under the control of the promoter glaB, specifically induced in solid-state fermentation, biofilm mode of culture is expected to enhance the global productivity. However, we found that the glaB promoter is also activated in submerged bioreactor and the fusion protein production is higher in this mode of culture. This result is related to the high shear stress leading to biomass autolysis and leakage of intracellular fusion protein into the extracellular medium. Moreover, 2D-gel electrophoresis highlights preservation of the fusion protein integrity produced in biofilm conditions whereas proteolysis strongly affects fusion protein recovery in the submerged cultures performed at high stirring rate. Fungal biofilm reactor design was then further investigated and the scale-up potentialities were evaluated. Indeed, the specific design investigated in this work involves the use of metal structured packing exhibiting a high specific area and that can be easily expanded to large-scale bioprocessing conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailWildflowers sown at field margins have positive and negative effects on pests and parasitoids
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg et al

Conference (2015, September 03)

Wildflower strips are sown at field margins throughout Europe to support insect conservation in agricultural areas. Among other insects, parasitoids may favor a biological regulation of pests. On an ... [more ▼]

Wildflower strips are sown at field margins throughout Europe to support insect conservation in agricultural areas. Among other insects, parasitoids may favor a biological regulation of pests. On an experimental field of the research platform AgricultureIsLife in Gembloux (University of Liège, Belgium), three replications of five wildflower seed mixtures were sown in strips adjacent to crops in spring 2013. Insect pests and their parasitoids were pan-trapped in spring 2014 in both wildflower strips and oilseed rape crops and identified at the species level. Flower species and cover were monitored in the strips using 1 m² quadrats, before mowing. Meligethes spp. were found abundantly in crops when oilseed rape was blooming. Meligethes’ parasitoids occurred later and their abundance was positively correlated with that of Meligethes in the flower strips. At the crop ripening stage, weevils Ceutorhynchus spp. occurred and were followed by an increase in abundance of their parasitoids in both crops and flowers. Positive as well as negative correlations were found between the abundance of these pests, their parasitoids and different flower species blooming at this time. The link between these results with flower species’ functional traits will be discussed. [less ▲]

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