Impact of wildflower strips on biological control of cabbage lepidopterans

In a 2-year experiment we investigated whether wildflower strips can be used to enhance the control of cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae L., and cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae L. At two sites, including six organically cultivated fields, M. brassicae egg parasitism and predation rates were determined along with an assessment of larval parasitism rates in M. brassicae and P. rapae using a DNA-based approach. Within each field, plots with and without wildflower strips were sampled and a grid design of 3 m × 3 m was used to analyze the spatial pattern of parasitism.

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