Can the understory affect the hymenoptera parasitoids in a eucalyptus plantation?
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The understory in forest plantations can increase richness and diversity of natural enemies due to greater plant species richness. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that the presence of the understory and climatic season in the region (wet or dry) can increase the richness and abundance of Hymenoptera parasitoids in Eucalyptus plantations, in the municipality of Belo Oriente, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. In each eucalyptus cultivation (five areas of cultivation) ten Malaise traps were installed, five with the understory and five without it. A total of 9,639 individuals from 30 families of the Hymenoptera parasitoids were collected, with Mymaridae, Scelionidae, Encyrtidae and Braconidae being the most collected ones with 4,934, 1,212, 619 and 612 individuals, respectively. The eucalyptus stands with and without the understory showed percentage of individuals 45.65% and 54.35% collected, respectively. The understory did not represent a positive effect on the overall abundance of the individuals Hymenoptera in the E. grandis stands, but rather exerted a positive effect on the specific families of the parasitoids of this order.