Micrapate scabrata (Erichson) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) is a xylophagous beetle native to Chile. Adults and larvae feed on several native host plants, but also on pruned wood of exotic plants. In this study we assessed the impact of artificial M. scabrata infestation on Vitis vinifera L. wood degradation and the subsequent changes in soil properties. First, we periodically sampled, during a four-month period, pruned wood from an infested table grape vineyard, finding in average 1 adult/10 cm linear wood. Adults were then placed in large Petri dishes containing uninfested wood samples, and maintained in a climatic chamber for six months. At the end of this period, an average of 65.6% of infested wood had been turned mainly into sawdust. Additionally, the impact of leaving M. scabrata infested pruned wood on potted soil for six months, under laboratory conditions, was also evaluated. Afterwards, the surface soil content of macro elements (N-P-K) and organic matter significantly increased, whereas the soil pH decreased. These results document the significant impact of M. scabrata infestation on pruning wood degradation and the benefits to the soil if left on the ground in the ecosystem.
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