Print version ISSN 0100-8358
TAVARES, W.S et al. Soil organisms associated to the weed suppressant Crotalaria juncea (fabaceae) and its importance as a refuge for natural enemies. Planta daninha [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp. 473-479. ISSN 0100-8358. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-83582011000300001.
Soil organisms play an important role in organic crops of Crotalaria juncea (Fabaceae) and are associated with the natural conservation of the environment. The present study was aimed to investigate the population of soil organisms in the organic culture of C. juncea, as well as its importance as a refuge for natural enemies. Dalbulus maidis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), Diabrotica sp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), Doru luteipes (Dermaptera: Forficulidae), Gryllus assimilis (Orthoptera: Gryllidae), Lagria villosa (Coleoptera: Lagriidae), Melanotus sp. (Coleoptera: Elateridae), Meloidogyne incognita (Tylenchida: Heteroderidae), Nephila clavipes (Araneae: Nephilidae), Orius insidiosus (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), Pheidole sp. (Hymenoptera: Myrmicidae), Phyllophaga sp. (Coleoptera: Scarabeidae), Procornitermes sp. (Isoptera: Termitidae), Solenopsis sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) were identified in C. juncea. The organisms that were found during a 3-month period in 144 trenches in C. juncea were pest species (84.47%) and natural enemies (15.53%) as well. Natural enemies had an average of 11.89 individuals per 1.08 m3 of soil cultivated with C. juncea. The abundance of organisms in the pod stage (5.49%) of C. juncea was lower than that in the vegetative (83.50%) and flowering (11.01%) stages. Crotalaria juncea plants can be used as part of a crop system for Integrated Pest Management.
Keywords : Crotalaria juncea; natural enemies; organic agriculture; pests; soil organisms; sun hemp.