Identifying signature of chemical applications on indigenous and invasive nontarget arthropod communities in vineyards Academic Article uri icon


  • Communities of arthropods providing ecosystem services (e.g., pest control, pollination, and soil nutrient cycling) to agricultural production systems are influenced by pesticide inputs, yet the impact of pesticide applications on nontarget organisms is normally evaluated through standardized sets of laboratory tests involving individual pesticides applied to a few representative species. By combining season-long pesticide applications of various insecticides and fungicides into a metric based on the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC) toxicity ratings, we evaluate season-long pesticide impacts on communities of indigenous and exotic arthropods across 61 vineyards assessed for an entire growing season. The composition of arthropod communities, identified mostly at the family level, but in some cases at the species level, was altered depending on season-long pesticide use. Numbers of mostly indigenous parasitoids, predatory mites, and coccinellids in the canopy, as well as carabid/tenebrionid beetles and some spider families on the ground, were decreased at higher cumulative pesticide metric scores. In contrast, numbers of one invasive millipede species (Ommatoiulus moreletti Lucas, Julida: Julidae) increased under higher cumulative pesticide metric scores. These changing community patterns were detected despite the absence of broad-spectrum insecticide applications in the vineyards. Pesticide effects were mostly due to indoxacarb and sulphur, applied as a fungicide. The reduction of beneficial arthropods and increase in an invasive herbivorous millipede under high cumulative pesticide metric scores highlights the need to manage nontarget season-long pesticide impacts in vineyards. A cumulative pesticide metric, based on IOBC toxicity ratings, provides a way of assessing overall toxicity effects, giving managers a means to estimate and consider potential negative season-long pesticide impacts on ecosystem services provided through arthropod communities.

publication date

  • September 2010