Rice fields with sesame grown on the bunds have higher natural enemies in Jinhua, China

Ecological engineering involves restoring floral biodiversity to provide resources for natural enemies.  We established sesame plants along the bunds of a rice field of about 0.5 hectares and monitored the natural enemies.  

A neighboring farmer’s field without the sesame was used as a comparison. Sesame was selected because of the flowers last a long period, are aromatic and are frequently visited by hymenopteran species.

In addition the sesame seeds may be harvested for use in making candies, sesame oil and seasoning for cooking.


Sesame seeds are harvested and made into a variety of cookies.

Using yellow pan traps we found that hymenopteran parasitoids were significantly more abundant in the field surrounded by sesame.  Similarly predators were also higher (figure below).


Yellow pan trap catches of predators and parasitoids in eco engineering and farmer’s fields.

The yellow sticky board traps  also showed significant differences in parasitoids caught in the two rice fields.  The farmer’s field was sprayed once with the insecticide, buprofezin mixed with fungicides at about 50 days after transplanting.  

Even though buprofezin is known to be specific to planthoppers, it had significant effects on the parasitoids caught in the traps established in the farmer’s field.


Sticky board catches of parasitoids in eco engineering and farmer’s fields that was sprayed at 50 DAT

These are preliminary results from the Jinhua eco engineering site.  Detailed analyses of the predator and parasitoid biodiversity using qualitative and quantitative methods are being carried out to further determine the effects of sesame grown along bunds.

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