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Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2024

Reducing pest pressure and insecticide use by increasing hedgerows in the landscape

Lucile Muneret
Sandrine Petit

Abstract

Highlights: • Insecticide use across 557 French farms that included winter wheat in their crop rotation was examined • Insecticide use increased with pest pressure and field size • Pest pressure increased as the cover of hedgerows in the landscape decreased • Increasing the landscape-scale cover of hedgerows from 1 % to 3 % halved insecticide use Abstract: Reducing pesticide use while maintaining agricultural production is a key challenge. Ecological theory predicts that landscape simplification is likely to increase insect pest outbreaks and limit their control by natural enemies, and this situation could boost insecticide use. Some studies have indeed detected that simpler landscapes were associated with higher insecticide use, but very few have demonstrated that this association is caused by landscape effects on pest abundance. Here, we analysed insecticide use and pest pressure in response to landscape simplification across 557 arable farms across France. Accounting for potentially confounding covariates, we found that lower cover of hedgerows in the landscape, but not semi natural areas, were associated with higher on-farm insecticide use. We also found that greater hedgerow coverage was associated with lower aphid pest pressure. Specifically, increasing the landscape-scale cover of hedgerows from 1 % to 3 % meant that insecticide use was halved. These findings suggest that restoring hedgerow cover at the landscape scale should be targeted in order to speed-up the ecological intensification of agriculture. Graphical abstract: https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0048969724003176-ga1.jpg
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licence : CC BY NC ND - Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives

Dates and versions

hal-04423592 , version 1 (29-01-2024)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives

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Emeric Courson, Benoît Ricci, Lucile Muneret, Sandrine Petit. Reducing pest pressure and insecticide use by increasing hedgerows in the landscape. Science of the Total Environment, 2024, 916, pp.170182. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170182⟩. ⟨hal-04423592⟩
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