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Predation by ground beetles and wolf spiders on herbivorous insects in a maize crop

Ground beetles (Carabidae) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) are among the dominant epigeal arthropod predators in arable land. Their predation effect on potential insect populations was examined in a maize field. The abundance and effects of ground beetles and wolf spiders were manipulated by removal or addition within field enclosures during two study periods, mid-season and end-season. Both Carabidae and Lycosidae depressed populations of Cicadellidae and Thysanoptera, and a reduction of Aphididae was indicated in mid-season. The results indicated a size-dependent predation effect of Carabidae on Cicadellidae, the highest predation being on Cicadellidae with a body length above 1.1 mm. There was no strong evidence that the predation changed with the season. The present study confirmed that ground beetles and wolf spiders may play an important role in controlling herbivore populations in agricultural fields, and revealed their potential to limit Cicadellidae and Thysanoptera in maize field. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment Elsevier
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