© Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budějovice. Spiders are generalist predators that contribute to the control of pests in agroecosystems. Land use management determines habitats including refuges for hibernation and aestivation. The availability of shelters on the ground can be crucial for maintaining populations of spider within crops. We studied the effect of the number of stones on the surface of the soil on the spider community in selected olive groves in Trás-os-Montes (northeastern Portugal). The number of stones signifi cantly infl uenced the overall diversity of spiders, abundance of immature individuals and abundance of ground hunters. Agricultural management practices aimed at the conservation of soil microhabitats such as hedgerows, stonewalls and stones on the ground should be promoted in order to maintain or increase the number of shelters for potential natural enemies of pests.
- Biological control
- Ground hunter