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Description de l’éditeur
Use of cover crop residues as organic mulches has a number of advantages to farming systems such as reducing soil erosion, conserving soil moisture, moderating soil temperature, improving infiltration of water, and providing a slow-release source of nutrients (Gruda 2008; Hatwig & Ammon 2002; Hatwig & Hoffman 1975; Powers & McSorley 2000; Snapp et al. 2005; Westerman & Bicudo 2005). Plant mulches can be an effective way to provide shelter for predatory insects (Johnson et al. 2004) and to control weeds (Reeleder et al. 2004; Teasdale et al. 2004). Mulches can help to maintain soil moisture required for plant vigor and to promote plant tolerance to the attack of insect pests (Johnson et al. 2004). Cover crops and intercrops have been used as living mulches for managing some insect pests. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum M. Bieb.) mulches increased predator populations to manage European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hiibner) (Prasifka et al. 2006). Eggs and larval densities of pest caterpillars were higher in broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis) monoculture when compared to broccoli with undersown mulches like strawberry clover (Tribolium fragiferum L.), white clover (Tribolium repens L.), and yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis L.) (Hooks & Johnson 2004). Alfalfa living mulch increased predators to manage outbreaks of the invasive soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Schmidt et al. 2007).