The Impact of Apple Orchard Edge Plants on Communities of Pimplinae (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae)
Plant communities made up by trees and shrubberies, which grow in the vicinity of orchards, constitute important elements of ecological infrastructure enriching these agrocenoses. The study was conducted in an orchard environment composed of apple orchards and their edges, such as agricultural fields, shrubberies and a road lined with trees and shrubs. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of diversity level of edge plants of an apple orchard on the quantitative and qualitative structure of parasitoid communities of the Pimplinae subfamily in the orchards. It was found that in an orchard environment composed of an apple orchard and well-developed edge plants a species diversity and abundance of parasitoids were higher than in an orchard environment composed of an orchard and neighbouring agricultural areas. It was established that the apple orchard edge, which was characterised by the highest species diversity of plants (road), influenced mainly the qualitative structure of parasitoids of the Pimplinae subfamily occurring in the orchard. It was found that the road as the orchard edge was the most attractive habitat for parasitoids. To sum up: the presence of edge plant communities which are well-developed and highly diversified in species favours species richness and the abundance of the parasitoids of the Pimplinae subfamily of the orchard environment.
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