Apple orchards are heavily treated crops and some sprayed insecticides are recognized to have toxic effects on non-target arthropods. Earwigs are important natural enemies in pip-fruit orchards and contribute to the biological control of aphids. In addition, due to their ease of capture and identification, they are an interesting potential bioindicator of the possible detrimental effects of different orchard management strategies. In this study, we measured the energy reserves and some morphological traits of Forficula auricularia L. sampled in apple orchards under management strategies (organic versus integrated pest management (IPM)). We observed a significant decrease in mass (22 to 27%), inter-eye width (3%), and prothorax width (2 to 5%) in earwigs from IPM compared to organic orchards. Energy body reserves also confirmed these results with a significant decrease of 48% in glycogen and 25 to 42% in lipid content in earwigs from IPM compared to organic orchards. However, the protein content was approximately 70% higher in earwigs from IPM than in organic orchards. Earwigs sampled in IPM orchards may adapt to minimize the adverse toxic effects of pesticide treatments using a large number of strategies, which are reflected in changes to their energy reserves. These strategies could, in turn, influence the population dynamics of natural enemies and impair their role in the biological control of pests in apple orchards.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2018
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