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^: *http://jee.oxfordjournals.org/content/by/year
^: Quinn N.F.; Brainard D.C.; Szendrei Z.
^: Floral Strips Attract Beneficial Insects but Do Not Enhance Yield in Cucumber Fields [ (, , ), ( ), . ()]
^: Journal of Economic Entomology, 2017; Vol.110,N 2. - P. 517-524
^: 2017

^: Natural enemies and pollinators require nutritional and habitat resources that are often not found in conventional agricultural fields. The addition of flowering plants within agroecosystems may provide the resources necessary to support beneficial insects at the local scale. We hypothesized that insect pollinator and natural enemy abundance would increase in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plots containing flower strips and that the effect would be greatest in the crop rows closest to the flower strips. Three flower treatments were tested: 1) buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), 2) yellow mustard (Brassica hirta), 3) sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), and cucumbers as a control. Flowers were planted within a commercial cucumber field in 20-m-long strips in a randomized complete block design with six replications in the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons. Some floral treatments successfully attracted more beneficial insects than others, but the beneficials did not disperse out to the cucumber plants. Cucumber yield was unaffected by flowers with one exception: in 2015, cucumber yield in the sweet alyssum plots were greater than those in plots with no flowers. Our research indicates that adding flowers to cucumber fields to increase services from beneficial insects needs to be further investigated to better understand the effect of factors such as relative flowering strip size. aref1

^TRN: 1708411


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