The impact of pest management strategies on the soil biota is crucial since it includes a lot of recognized beneficial animals. Commercial orchards are precisely managed crops on which large amounts of pesticides are used. We aimed to provide a clear understanding of the response of ground beetles communities to such strategies. Field sampling was carried out in three seasons in 15 commercial orchards. We studied ground beetle communities through their activity-density, and their structural and functional diversity. We found activity-density to be solely influenced by season and species richness by orchard management but only in summer. Differences in orchard management selected individuals on the basis of their morphology (in relation with their stature, walk, flight and nutrition) and their ecological preferences (food and habitat diversity). Our results illustrate the value of trait-based approaches in depicting orchard management effects on the within-year dynamics of ground beetles, when combined with taxonomic approaches.
Mickaël, H., Christophe, M., Thibaud, D., Johanne, N., Benjamin, P., Jodie, T., Yvan, C., Orchard management influences both functional and taxonomic ground beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae) diversity in South-East France, Applied Soil Ecology, Volume: 88 Pages: 26-31 Published: APR 2015.