Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, CH-8046 Zurich

Attractiveness of extensive meadows for aphid predators

Of all ecological compensation areas in Switzerland, extensive meadows occupy the largest surface area. The aim of this study was to investigate the attractiveness of extensive meadows for flying cereal-aphid predators, specifically in the immediate vicinity of cereal plants. On four sites in the Swiss Midlands in spring 2010, wheat in pots was in each case placed in a cow-parsley-dominated extensive meadow, an extensive meadow with an at-most-sparse presence of cow parsley, and a wheat field. The adult hoverflies were most numerous in the cow-parsley-dominated meadows, whilst the number of adult ladybirds as well as the number of hoverfly and ladybird eggs were dependent solely on the presence of aphids. As further aphid predators, only a few lacewings were counted. According to the findings of this study, extensive meadows per se do not attract an especially high number of aphid predators. Meadows with attractive flowering plants can significantly support aphid predators, however.

To the archive