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Ground beetle assemblages and distribution of functional traits in olive orchards and vineyards depend on the agricultural management practice

Abstract

Biodiversity in the Mediterranean is undergoing a decline resulting in reduced ecosystem service provisions. Here we analysed the functional diversity of ground beetles in Mediterranean vineyards and olive orchards using species traits connected to their ecosystem services. Since previous studies showed that habitat type can affect ground beetle trait composition we hypothesized that the proportion of selected traits (body size, feeding preferences, and wing development) would be influenced by integrated pest management (IPM) and organic management (OM), and this would differ from unmanaged habitats. We analysed published data originating from vineyards and olive orchards in several Mediterranean countries with similar agricultural management practices, and for which ground beetles were sampled in a comparable way. We found that significantly more carnivorous species than herbivorous and omnivorous were present from unmanaged habitats compared to OM sites, while there were no significant differences between OM and IPM sites for ground beetles feeding preferences. The proportion of large brachypterous species was highest at unmanaged sites and lowest at IPM sites. Conversely, functional diversities in feeding preferences and size ranges were significantly lower at unmanaged sites. In Croatian sites only, medium-sized macropterous carnivores were the most abundant beetle fauna, with more predatory individuals found in OM sites. Overall, unmanaged habitats supported a higher proportion of carnivorous ground beetle species, while size and wing development were more variable among the sites.

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Data availability

Ground beetle samples have been deposited in the entomology lab at the Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb.

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Acknowledgements

We are thankful to all the students and associates who helped with the fieldwork and samples preparation. We are also thankful to the owners of olive orchards and vineyards, Miodrag Deša, Josip Ražov, Šime Škaulj in Zadar County who kindly let us conduct our research at their land. We also thank three anonymous reviewers for helping improve the manuscript and Katarina Mikac for English language editing assistance. This research was funded by The Croatian Science Foundation under the MEDITERATRI Project (HRZZ UIP 05-2017-1046) granted to Lucija Šerić Jelaska, and co-funded by the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science at the University of Zagreb.

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Contributions

LŠJ and LIT designed the study and wrote the manuscript; LIT sorted sampled material; LIT, LŠJ and FK provided data analyses and visualization; TK provided sampling design and organized field sampling; LŠJ supervised this work and provided financial support through MEDITERATRI Project (HRZZ UIP 05-2017-1046) as a project leader. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Lucija Šerić Jelaska or Lara Ivanković Tatalović.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Handling Editor: Marta Montserrat.

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Šerić Jelaska, L., Ivanković Tatalović, L., Kostanjšek, F. et al. Ground beetle assemblages and distribution of functional traits in olive orchards and vineyards depend on the agricultural management practice. BioControl 67, 275–286 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-022-10133-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-022-10133-x

Keywords

  • Biocontrol
  • Croatia
  • Feeding
  • Ground beetles
  • Greece
  • Italy