Abstract Detail


Kleiman, Blaire [1].

How do weeds affect insects in mango farms of South Florida?

Using weeds- wild, unwanted plants-as insectary plants to support beneficial insects is an emerging topic of agricultural research. Weeds use in tropical fruit production reliant on pollination could increase fruit yield, and biodiversity of beneficial insects in mango farms of South Florida. Weeds are a cost-effective insectary plant, useful to parasitoids, predators, and pollinators, expanding their range into farms, and possibly increasing crop protection from pests and biotic pollination. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of weeds as refuge resource plants to enhance the abundance and diversity of beneficial insect species, which will benefit mango (Mangifera indica) crop production. More biodiverse farms, hosting varied plants and insects, are more resilient and less vulnerable to environmental stressors. Using native weeds, which have the potential to act as insectary plants when growing companion plants isn’t possible and increasingly likely in changing climates, to add to the variety of diets for beneficial insects increases the conservation of plants and their plant-pollinator networks. Weeds can provide resources to maintain balanced predator-prey dynamics, and allow for less chemical use of pesticides and herbicides, and more environmentally sound agriculture across South Florida. This study questions 1. How do the number and diversity of insects differ on mango in the presence or absence of weeds? 2. What is the impact on mango fruit yield in the presence of weeds? Increasing the diversity of pollinators through weeds can buffer against lapses in pollination by agricultural bees, Apis mellifera, and increase crop production.

1 - Florida International University, Earth and Environment, 11200 sw 8th street, MIAMI, FL, 33199, United States


Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Ecology Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
Time: 5:00 PM Time and date to be determined
Number: PEC010
Abstract ID:495
Candidate for Awards:None

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