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Title of article :
Effects of organic farming on plant and arthropod communities: A case study in Mediterranean dryland cereal
Author/Authors :
Carlos Ponce، نويسنده , , Carolina Bravo، نويسنده , , David Garc?a de Le?n، نويسنده , , Marina Maga?a، نويسنده , , Juan Carlos Alonso، نويسنده ,
Issue Information :
روزنامه با شماره پیاپی سال 2011
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Abstract :
Organic farming is considered an important way to preserve biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. However, more work is still necessary to enable a full appraisal of the potential benefits of this way of farming, since studies differ in the evaluation of its effectiveness. Studies are particularly scarce in the Mediterranean region, where different climatic and ecological conditions prevent simple extrapolations from work carried out at northern latitudes. In the present study, an analysis of weed and arthropod communities was conducted in 28 pairs of organic and conventional fields in a dry cereal farmland in central Spain. Plants were identified to the species level, and arthropods to the family level. Pitfalls and sweep nets were used to sample respectively, ground-dwelling and plant-visiting arthropods. Abundance (total numbers of individuals), richness (total numbers of plant species or arthropod families), diversity (Shannon–Wiener index) and biomass (milligrams per pitfall/sweep-net) were calculated for each field and compared between organic and conventional fields using Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMMs). To explore the effect of predictor variables on weed richness and arthropod biomass, GLMMs were used. Organic fields showed higher abundance of weeds and arthropods (3.01 and 1.43 times, respectively), higher weed richness and diversity (2.76 and 2.33 times, respectively), and a 24% reduction in cereal plants. Arthropod diversity was lower in organic fields due to the presence of three dominant groups: Collembola, Chloropidae (Diptera), and Aphididae (Hemiptera). Weed richness increased as cereal cover decreased in organic fields. Total arthropod biomass was slightly higher in organic fields, and was affected by weed abundance and diversity. The differences between organic and conventional fields found in this study were higher than those reported for northern latitudes. This could be explained by the richer weed flora in the Mediterranean region, and a higher weed seed availability favored by the two-year rotation system typical of Iberian dry cereal farmland. We conclude that organic farming may contribute to preserve biodiversity in dryland cereal agroecosystems in the Mediterranean region.
Keywords :
Abundance , Agri-environment scheme , Farmland , Weed and arthropod , Richness , Diversity
Journal title :
Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment
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