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Front. Sustain. Food Syst. | doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2019.00064

Dittrichia viscosa (Asterales: Asteraceae) as an arthropod reservoir in olive groves

 Rafael Alcalá Herrera1*,  Juan Castro-Rodríguez2, María Luisa Fernández-Sierra1 and Mercedes Campos1
  • 1Department of Environmental Protection, Experimental Station of Zaidín (EEZ), Spain
  • 2IFAPA Center Purchil Road, Spain

Non-crop cultivated plants can provide agriculture with ecosystem services such as biological pest control and, a sound knowledge of the relationships between these plants and arthropod communities is important. Given its entomophilous characteristics, Dittrichia viscosa, a plant commonly found in the Mediterranean region, could potentially be used in integrated pest management systems. The aim of this study is to investigate arthropofauna associated with D. viscosa in olive groves during its preflowering, flowering and postflowering stages and to determine the possible relationships between different groups of arthropods. Using vacuum-sampling, the study was carried out on D. viscosa plants bordering and inside olive groves. The plants produced new leaves in April and flowered between August and October. Miridae, Aphididae, Hymenoptera parasitoids, Formicidae, Araneae and Aleyrodidae were the most abundant groups of arthropods collected during the preflowering and flowering stages. Plant phenology differentially influenced the arthropod populations of the different groups, with the Aleyrodidae family found to be more abundant during the preflowering stage, while Hymenoptera parasitoids were more numerous during the flowering stage. During the postflowering stage, the number of arthropods captured was very low. Numerous correlations between and within the different functional groups were observed throughout the life cycle of D. viscosa. Our results clearly show that D. viscosa plants in olive groves have great potential as a reservoir of different predators and Hymenoptera parasitoids and that these olive groves were not attacked by any D. viscosa-related phytophages.

Keywords: Ecological infrastructure, Olea europaea, Hymenoptera parasitoids, Miridae, Araneae, Formicidae, Aleyrodidae

Received: 07 May 2019; Accepted: 29 Jul 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Alcalá Herrera, Castro-Rodríguez, Fernández-Sierra and Campos. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Rafael Alcalá Herrera, Department of Environmental Protection, Experimental Station of Zaidín (EEZ), Granada, 18008, Spain,