Skip to main content

Unpredicted ecological and ecosystem services of biodiversity. Spontaneous vegetation, hedgerows, and maple trees as useful landscape components to increase predatory mite population in agroecosystems

Applied Soil Ecology


Rural landscapes have been dramatically simplified and reduced. Large mechanical machinery was adopted and most of the natural helps such as living tutors in the vineyards disappeared or were replaced by cement or steel pillars. In the same way, field margins and hedgerows have also become restricted and simplified. The vegetation in the rural landscape mosaic provides alternative food and overwintering places, maintaining the inestimable importance of biodiversity in providing unexpected ecological services in agroecosystems. An important example could be predatory mites both as species and population density, providing ecological service for biological control such as the two-spotted spider mite attacks. Maple and grape leaf domatia can be hosted by a large number of small invertebrates, including predatory mites such as Phytoseiidae, Laelapidae, and Stigmaeidae. The present study would document the ecological service offered by the presence of predatory mites, especially Phytoseiidae, on wild herbal vegetation and tree species associated with hedgerows in agricultural sites across the Veneto Region (Italy). 25 confirmed species of phytoseiids were revealed. Neoseiulus barkeri results the common species in all plant species habitats studied and with Amblyseius andersoni, Amblyseius rademacheri, Euseius finlandicus, Neoseiulella tiliarum is recorded in most of the study sites. Other species are notable for the preferences of plant species: Neoseiulus cucumeris and Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) verrucosus results associated for elm, meanwhile Neoseiulus aurescens, Paraseiulus soleiger and Phytoseiulus persimilis for maple tree. A positive relationship between the increasing leaf hairiness and the mean number of Phytoseiidae is revealed. The movement of predatory mites from one plant to another could be a necessary condition to support an effective biological control. The reintroduction of the living tutor for vine such as maple and elm and increasing the field margins diversity could improve and maintain the inestimable importance of biodiversity in providing unexpected ecological services in agroecosystems.

Author(s): Gavinelli, F; Fusaro, S; Ivan, D; Ragusa, S; Paoletti, MG

Journal: Applied Soil Ecology

Year: 2020


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *