Influence of intercropping with spring cereals on the occurrence of pea aphids (Ayrthosiphon pisum Harris, 1776) and their natural enemies in field pea (Pisum sativum L.)

Occurrences of pea aphids and their natural enemies (syrphids, mummies caused by entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria sp. and by the parasitic wasp Aphidius ervi) were compared in monocultures and mixtures of field peas and spring cereals in three seasons (2008–2010). At the beginning of colonisation, the occurrence of aphids was not substantially influenced by intercropping with cereals. However, the numbers of pea aphids located on inflorescences started to decline earlier in mixtures compared with monoculture. More syrphids (eggs + larvae) were found in mixtures than in monoculture, and more syrphid eggs were found in young aphid colonies (10 to 20 individuals) in mixtures. Intercropping did not influence the occurrence of fungal mummies (Beauveria sp.), but mixtures tended to have more aphid colonies infested by A. ervi in 2008 and 2009.

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