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The effect of simulated ‘wash off’ from spot-sprays containing either Malathion or Phloxine B on ground-dwelling arthropods in an orchard.

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1 Leaf-litter samples were taken from treated patches of ground in an orchard 7 days after the application of a diluted spot-spray mixture (simulating washed off residue). The mixture contained either 1% Phloxine B or one of two concentrations (1% or 0.1%) of Malathion; the control treatment was water.

2 Half of the replicates of each treatment were left open to immigration and emigration of the leaf litter animals in the assemblage for a week before sampling, the other half were not.

3 Malathion at either concentration altered the assemblage in the treated patches by significantly decreasing abundance and species richness. However, the latter was less affected in treatments open to invasion. Phloxine B had no detectable effect.

4 When patches of leaf litter were completely cleared and replaced with sterilized peat moss (simulating complete insecticide kill without residual effect), the peat moss was rapidly colonized by microarthropods.

Keywords Arthropods, diversity, Malathion, Phloxine B, spot sprays.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Fruit Fly Research Centre, School of Biological Sciences A08, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 1999

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