Observations on acarofauna in four apple orchards of central Greece. I. Incidence of pedoclimatic conditions and agricultural techniques on phytoseiid mites (Acari: Phytoseiidae)
2000 - Volume: 41 Issue: 1-2 pages: 109-126
Keywordsapple orchards Phytoseiid mites pedoclimatic aspects agrotechnical aspects Greece
Observations were made on the biodiversity of mite species associated with apple trees under different pedoclimatic conditions and agrotechnical methods, during a three-year period (1996-1998), in apple orchards of cultivars Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, located in four regions of Central Greece: Agia, Zagora, Anilio and Farma. The predatory mites Amblyseius andersoni, Euseius finlandicus and Typhlodromus pyri constitute the most important species among the twelve phytoseiid mites collected. A. andersoni is the dominant species in the lowland orchard of Agia, E. finlandicus in the highland orchards of Zagora and Anilio, where, with Typhlodromus pyri, they are the most important predators while in the orchard in the Farma plateau, the populations of E. finlandicus alternate with those of A. andersoni. These wer followed by N.californicus in Agia, Phytoseius macropilis in Farma and Typhlodromus cotoneastri in the orchards of Zagora and Anilio. Their relative population densities reached low levels, while the remaining species that were collected could be considered as sporadic or occasional. Four phytophagous species were found: Panonychus ulmi, Tetranychus urticae, Amphitetranychus viennensis (Tetranychus viennensis) and Aculus schlechtendali. Their presence varied between regions, sometimes showing high population densities and causing economic damage to apple orchards in Central Greece. The population levels of A. andersoni, E. finlandicus and T. pyri reached peak values during the months of summer (July and August) in the respective regions where they were present. The tolerance of their populations to treatments with fungicides (especially sulfur, copper compounds, pyrimidines and triazoles) and selective insecticides, observed during the three-year survey, is probably due to the development of tolerant strains.
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