Data from: Agroforestry coffee soils increase the insect-suppressive potential offered by entomopathogenic fungi over full-sun soils: a case proposing a "bait-survival technique"
Moreira, Camila et al. (2020), Data from: Agroforestry coffee soils increase the insect-suppressive potential offered by entomopathogenic fungi over full-sun soils: a case proposing a "bait-survival technique", Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t91r232
Entomopathogenic fungi are important natural enemies of insects. However, there is little information on the insect-suppressive potential of these fungi and possible effects of farming management on this. Meanwhile, changes in natural landscapes due to agricultural intensification have caused considerable biodiversity loss and consequent decay of ecosystem services. However, the adoption of practices such as agroforestry in agroecosystems can foster abiotic and biotic conditions that conserve biodiversity, consequently restoring the provision of ecosystems services. Here, we assessed the effect of management systems (agroforestry or full-sun) on the pest-suppressive potential of entomopathogenic fungi in Brazilian coffee plantations. We used the insect-bait method coupled with survival analyses to assess the speed of kill by entomopathogenic fungi and their presence in soil samples from both farming systems. We found that insects exposed to agroforestry soils died more quickly than insects exposed to full-sun soils. Of the fungi isolated from the insect-baits, Metarhizium was found most frequently, followed by Beauveria. Meanwhile, Fusarium was frequently isolated as primary or secondary infections. We propose that the differential survival of insects is indicative of a greater suppressive potential by entomopathogenic fungi in agroforestry, and that this could be promoted by the diversified landscape, microclimatic stability and reduced soil disturbance in agroforestry systems. Furthermore, our results provide a useful demonstration of the potential use of the insect bait method to investigate pest suppressive potential through insect-bait mortality, and we term this the “bait survival technique”.