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See detailFlower Strips in Wheat Intercropping System: Effect on Pollinator Abundance and Diversity in Belgium
Amy, Clara ULiege; Noël, Grégoire ULiege; Hatt, Séverin ULiege et al

in Insects (2018), 9(3), 114

The decline of pollinators in agricultural areas has been observed for some decades, this being partly due to landscape simplification in intensive agrosystems. Diversifying agricultural landscapes by ... [more ▼]

The decline of pollinators in agricultural areas has been observed for some decades, this being partly due to landscape simplification in intensive agrosystems. Diversifying agricultural landscapes by sowing flower strips within fields could reduce these adverse effects on biodiversity. In this context, the study presented here aimed at assessing and comparing the abundance and diversity of bees (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) and hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) found and visiting flowers in three types of flower strips in Belgium: (i) a mixture of 11 wild flowers, (ii) a monofloral strip of Dimorphoteca pluvialis (Asteraceae) and (iii) a monofloral strip of Camelina sativa (Brassicaceae), where the last two are considered to be intercrops since they are valuable on the market, all sown within a field of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Pollinators were captured with pan traps and by netting in standardised transects from May to July 2017. One-thousand one-hundred and eighty-four individuals belonging to 43 bee species and 18 hoverfly species were collected. Significant differences in hoverfly diversity were found between the different flower strips. The multifloral treatment supported a greater diversity of syrphid species. Various pollinator species visited the different flowers composing the mixture and also D. pluvialis. The pollinator community proved to be predominantly generalist, with the exception of an oligolectic species in Belgium, Andrena nitidiuscula. Moreover, the three tested flower strips were effective in attracting hoverflies, among them natural enemies of insect pests. This study opens new perspectives in the design of intercropping systems with flower strips towards the design of sustainable agro-ecosystems. Improving economic profitability of sowing flower strips could encourage farmers to diversify their agricultural systems and foster conservation biology strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailElevated CO2 concentrations impact the semiochemistry of aphid honeydew without having a cascade effect on an aphid predator
Boullis, Antoine; Blanchard, Solène ULiege; Francis, Frédéric ULiege et al

in Insects (2018), 9(47),

Honeydew is considered a cornerstone of the interactions between aphids and their natural enemies. Bacteria activity occurring in aphid honeydew typically results in the release of volatile organic ... [more ▼]

Honeydew is considered a cornerstone of the interactions between aphids and their natural enemies. Bacteria activity occurring in aphid honeydew typically results in the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are used by the natural enemies of aphids to locate their prey. Because atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration directly impacts the physiology of plants, we raise the hypothesis that elevated CO2 concentrations impact the quantity of honeydew produced by aphids, as well as the diversity and quantity of honeydew VOCs, leading to cascade effects on the foraging behavior of aphids’ natural enemies. Using solid-phase microextraction, we analyzed the VOCs emitted by honeydew from pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris) reared under 450 50 ppm of CO2 (aCO2) or 800 50 ppm CO2 (eCO2). While the total amount of honeydew excreted was only slightly reduced by eCO2 concentrations, we detected qualitative and quantitative differences in the semiochemistry of aphid honeydew between CO2 conditions. Three VOCs were not found in the honeydew of eCO2 aphids: 3-methyl-2-buten-1-ol, 2-methyl-1-butanol, and isobutanol. However, no difference was observed in the searching and oviposition behaviors of hoverfly (Episyrphus balteatus (De Geer)) females exposed to plants covered with honeydew originating from the different CO2 conditions. The present work showed the effect of a particular aspect of atmospheric changes, and should be extended to other abiotic parameters, such as temperature. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of wildflower strips and an adjacent forest on aphids and their natural enemies in a pea field
Hatt, Séverin ULiege; Mouchon, Pierre; Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULiege et al

in Insects (2017), 8(3), 99

Landscape diversification is a key element for the development of sustainable agriculture. This study explores whether the implementation of habitats for pest natural enemies enhances conservation ... [more ▼]

Landscape diversification is a key element for the development of sustainable agriculture. This study explores whether the implementation of habitats for pest natural enemies enhances conservation biological control in an adjacent field. In the present study conducted in Gembloux (Belgium) in 2016, the effect of two different habitats (wildflower strips and a forest) and aphid abundance on the density of aphid natural enemies, mummified aphids and parasitism on pea plants was assessed through visual observations. The effect of the habitats on aphids was also evaluated. The habitats but not aphid density significantly affected hoverfly larvae, which were more abundant adjacent to wildflower strips than to the forest. The contrary was observed for ladybeetle adults, which were positively related with aphids but not affected by the adjacent habitats. The abundance of mummies and the parasitism rate were significantly affected by both the habitats and aphid density. They were both significantly enhanced adjacent to wildflower strips compared to the forest, but the total parasitism rate was low (<1%), questioning whether parasitoids could significantly control aphids on the pea crop. As for the aphids, their abundance was not significantly affected by the adjacent habitats. These results are discussed with respect to the potential of these habitats to provide overwintering sites and food resources for natural enemies, and thereby enhance conservation biological control. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrobiological load of edible insects found in Belgium
Caparros Megido, Rudy ULiege; Desmedt, Sandrine; Blecker, Christophe ULiege et al

in Insects (2017)

Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are ... [more ▼]

Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are sourcing fresh insects from fishing stores or towards traditional markets to find exotic insects that are illegal and not sanitarily controlled. From this perspective, this study aims to characterize the microbial load of edible insects found in Belgium (i.e., fresh mealworms and house crickets from European farms and smoked termites and caterpillars from a traditional Congolese market) and to evaluate the efficiency of different processing methods (blanching for all species and freeze-drying and sterilization for European species) in reducing microorganism counts. All untreated insect samples had a total aerobic count higher than the limit for fresh minced meat (6.7 log cfu/g). Nevertheless, a species-dependent blanching step has led to a reduction of the total aerobic count under this limit, except for one caterpillar species. Freeze-drying and sterilization treatments on European species were also effective in reducing the total aerobic count. Yeast and mold counts for untreated insects were above the Good Manufacturing Practice limits for raw meat, but all treatments attained a reduction of these microorganisms under this limit. These results confirmed that fresh insects, but also smoked insects from non-European trades, need a cooking step (at least composed of a first blanching step) before consumption. Therefore, blanching timing for each studied insect species is proposed and discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailInfestation Level Influences Oviposition Site Selection in the Tomato Leafminer Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae)
Bawin, Thomas ULiege; De Backer, Lara ULiege; Dujeu, David ULiege et al

in Insects (2014), 5

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a devastating pest that develops principally on solanaceous plants throughout South and Central America and Europe. In this study, we ... [more ▼]

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a devastating pest that develops principally on solanaceous plants throughout South and Central America and Europe. In this study, we tested the influence of three levels of T. absoluta infestations on the attraction and oviposition preference of adult T. absoluta. Three infestation levels (i.e., non-infested plants, plants infested with 10 T. absoluta larvae, and plants infested with 20 T. absoluta larvae) were presented by pairs in a flying tunnel to groups of T. absoluta adults. We found no differences in terms of adult attraction for either level of infestations. However, female oviposition choice is influenced by larvae density on tomato plants. We discuss the underlying mechanisms and propose recommendations for further research [less ▲]

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See detailWireworms’ Management: An Overview of the Existing Methods, with Particular Regards to Agriotes spp. (Coleoptera: Elateridae)
Barsics, Fanny ULiege; Haubruge, Eric ULiege; Verheggen, François ULiege

in Insects (2013), 4(1), 117-152

Wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are important soil dwelling pests worldwide causing yield losses in many crops. The progressive restrictions in the matter of efficient synthetic chemicals for health ... [more ▼]

Wireworms (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are important soil dwelling pests worldwide causing yield losses in many crops. The progressive restrictions in the matter of efficient synthetic chemicals for health and environmental care brought out the need for alternative management techniques. This paper summarizes the main potential tools that have been studied up to now and that could be applied together in integrated pest management systems and suggests guidelines for future research. [less ▲]

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See detailChemical Ecology of the Colorado Potato Beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), and Potential for Alternative Control Methods
Sablon, Ludovic ULiege; Dickens, Joseph C.; Haubruge, Eric ULiege et al

in Insects (2013), 4(1), 31-54

The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) has been a major insect pest to potato farming for over 150 years and various control methods have been established to reduce its impact on potato fields. Crop rotation ... [more ▼]

The Colorado potato beetle (CPB) has been a major insect pest to potato farming for over 150 years and various control methods have been established to reduce its impact on potato fields. Crop rotation and pesticide use are currently the most widely used approaches, although alternative methods are being developed. Here we review the role of various volatile and nonvolatile chemicals involved in behavior changes of CPB that may have potential for their control. First, we describe all volatile and nonvolatile chemicals involved in host plant localization and acceptance by CPB beetles, including glycoalcaloids and host plant volatiles used as kairomones. In the second section, we present the chemical signals used by CPB in intraspecific communication, including sex and aggregation pheromones. Some of these chemicals are used by natural enemies of CPBs to locate their prey and are presented in the third section. The last section of this review is devoted a discussion of the potential of some natural chemicals in biological control of CPB and to approaches that already reached efficient field applications. [less ▲]

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