Robert Spatz and Werner Koch
The development of arthropod communities on three low input, shifting cultivation sweetpotato fields located in very distinct environments was monitored. Aim of the study was to identify if and how the composition of arthropod communities on cropland areas is influenced by the surrounding vegetation. Sampling of the arthropods was done by use of colour pans and pitfall traps. The prey was keyed to family or genus, assigned to trophic guilds, and further subdivided into “operational” species (based merely upon morphological criteria). Several indices describing ecological diversity were computed and used to compare the three communities. Results suggests that the arthropod communities on each of the fields developed into a mostly site-independent, but crop-specific fauna. An influence of the surrounding vegetation can be suspected only for predatory arthropods.
Keywords: Sweetpotato, pests, agroecology, diversity
Annals of Tropical Research 16(2):(1994)