Long-term changes and ant-exclusion effects on the true bugs (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) of an organic citrus grove

Josep Piñol, Eva Ribes, Jordi Ribes, Xavier Espadaler

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The Heteroptera assemblage of a citrus grove and how it was affected by ant-exclusion was examined during transformation from conventional to organic agriculture. The results showed that the Heteroptera assemblage changed dramatically over the eight years of the study: at first, it mainly consisted of herbivorous lygaeids and predatory anthocorids but became dominated by predatory mirids in 2008-2009. The predator/herbivore ratio increased steadily over the eight years of the study. Ants can form mutualistic relationships with heteropteran pests. However, exclusion of ants from canopies did not affect the Heteroptera assemblage at the beginning of the study, but had a profound effect later on. In particular, ant-exclusion increased the abundance of most predatory Heteroptera, except for the myrmecomorphic mirid Pilophorus perplexus, which was approximately five times more abundant in control than in ant-excluded trees; the analyses showed that the only mimicked ant species was Lasius grandis. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012


  • Biological control
  • Cardiastethus fasciiventris
  • Lasius grandis
  • Mediterranean
  • Myrmecomorphy
  • Pilophorus perplexus


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