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Insect diversity on high-input, low-input and organic banana farms
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marine Ecotoxicology)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marine Ecotoxicology)
Wageningen University, Department of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marine Ecotoxicology)
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(English)In: Agricultural and Forest Entomology, ISSN 1461-9555, E-ISSN 1461-9563Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

High intensity of pesticide use in banana production is problematic not only for human health and the surrounding environment, but can threaten the provision of ecosystem services on which farm productivity depends. This research investigates the effects of varying pesticide-use intensities on on-farm insect diversity, using three different types of farm management systems: high pesticide input conventional system, reduced pesticide input conventional system and organic system. Insect sampling was done using pitfall and yellow bowl traps, left for a 24-hour period at 2 locations inside the banana farm, at the edge of the farm, and in adjacent forest. Species were classified to family level and then morphospecies. Insect species community composition and diversity were compared using multivariate statistics with ordination analysis and Monte Carlo permutation testing, and revealed that each of the management systems were significantly different from each other for both trap types. Insect diversity decreased as production management increased its pesticide use. Reduced insect diversity resulted in fewer functional groups and fewer insect families assuming different functions essential to ecosystem health. Organic farms had similar species composition on the farm compared to adjacent forest sites, whereas species composition increasingly differed between farm and forest sites as pesticide-use intensity increased. We conclude that while organic production has minimal impact on insect biodiversity, even small reductions in pesticide-use intensity can have a significantly positive impact on on-farm insect biodiversity and functional roles supported.

Keyword [en]
banana production, management practices, Costa Rica, insect diversity
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Ecotoxicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61848OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-61848DiVA: diva2:438173
Available from: 2011-09-01 Created: 2011-09-01 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Costa Rican coffee and bananas: A social-ecological study of management practices and their effects on the environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Costa Rican coffee and bananas: A social-ecological study of management practices and their effects on the environment
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the variability in management practices on coffee and banana farms in an attempt to identify practices that reduce the environmental impact of export crop production. Different banana production systems are studied to determine their level of environmental impact. Insect sampling and bird surveys are used to assess the level of ecological quality on banana farms and their surrounding environments. The first two studies are based on interview methods and focus more on the social aspects of the production system. Paper I identifies how farmers utilize labor and herbicides in weed control practices, and found that small-scale coffee farmers overuse herbicides when their relative use of herbicides to labor to control weed densities is compared to their large-scale counterparts and small-scale organic producers. Paper II attempts to identify variability in management practices for the production of export bananas, but instead finds that there is only one type of export banana production system. However, there are lessons to be learned from organic and banana-coffee intercropping systems of production.

Papers III-V use the information gathered in the interview studies of Paper II to give context to the results from analysis of ecological indicators collected from banana farms. Paper III is a comparison of insect community composition on high-input, low-input and organic banana farms. Paper IV is an analysis of aquatic macroinvertebrate in surface water sites upstream and downstream of banana farm canal entry points. Finally, Paper V is a comparison of ecological effects of management practices between Rainforest Alliance certified farms and non-RainforestAlliancecertified farms. Results showed that low-input banana production is not as good as organic production with regards to ecological impact, but it can still make a difference when compared to high-input banana production. Rainforest Alliance certified farms, however, are not low-input systems and the changes that they make in production practices are not enough to influence the quality of the ecological system. These results are encouraging for low-input production systems, but show that standards for Rainforest Alliance certification need to be tougher in order to make an impact on ecological indicators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2011. 46 p.
Keyword
Costa Rica, coffee, banana, production system, pesticides, organic, conventional, Rainforest Alliance certification
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Marine Ecotoxicology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61221 (URN)978-91-7447-349-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-10-10, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Submitted. Paper 5: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-09-19 Created: 2011-08-22 Last updated: 2011-09-16Bibliographically approved

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