, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 505-514
Date: 27 Feb 2009

Parasitism of stem weevils and pollen beetles in winter oilseed rape is differentially affected by crop management and landscape characteristics

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We examined the influence of crop management (crop density, nitrogen fertilization level) and landscape parameters [areal proportion of oilseed rape (OSR), Brassica napus L. var. oleifera Metzg. (Brassicaceae), and proportions, lengths and distances of various non-crop habitats] on the parasitism of stem weevils (Ceutorhynchus spp.; Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and pollen beetles (Meligethes spp.; Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) by parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae). Larvae of host insects were sampled in 29 winter OSR fields located in landscapes ranging from structurally simple to complex. Spatial scales of landscape effects were considered at eight radii (250–2,000 m) centered in the studied OSR fields. Stem weevil parasitism was unaffected by crop management variables but negatively related to roadside strip length at radius 250 m and grassy fallow area at a radius of 500 m. Pollen beetle parasitism was positively related to the crop density and to lengths of roadside strips and hedges within a radius of 250 m. Thousand kernel mass of OSR was positively related to pollen beetle parasitism but unrelated to stem weevil parasitism.

Handling editor: Torsten Meiners.