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Research

Innovative approaches to Integrated Pest Management systems for ornamental production.

Abstract

The expanding field of insect-plant relationship has long focused on the processes by which phytophagous insects find and accept their host plants. Significant advances have been made in explaining behavioural and sensory mechanisms by which insects recognize their hosts and reject unsuitable plants (Renwick & Chew, 1994). Dispersal and spatial heterogeneity in habitat quality, species interactions, and environmental stochasticity can generate spatial patterns in the way populations change through time (De Valpine et al., 2010). Theory predicts that average spatial synchrony can be a nonlinear function of dispersal rate, but the form of the dispersal rate-synchrony relationship has never been quantified for any system (Fox et al., 2014). Understanding these roles of space in population dynamics can be important in predicting future population distributions and for evaluating hypotheses about population processes (De Valpine et al., 2010). The novel ecological interactions that result from biological invasions is a critical issue in modern ecology, evolution and pest management. Introduced herbivorous insects interacting with native plants and indigenous natural enemies, may create novel multi-trophic interactions (Wang et al. 2015). The manipulation of multi-trophic interactions in ornamental crops will improve the efficacy of natural biological control and enhance integrated pest management. Understanding biodiversity and its complexity better, will allow for developing more effective models for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) applications.

Description

 

Two important pest arthropods are studied - the carnation tortrix moth Cacoecimorpha pronubana (Hubner, [1799]) and the light brown apple moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker, 1863).

Understanding environment complexity and pest activity are the key elements of developing and improving a pest management strategy. Examinations of interactions and mechanisms occuring within the plant diversity of the arthropod community will help to understand the effects of additional factors on the moth appearance patterns and development, leading to determination of key trophic interactions, seasonal dynamics of natural enemies, crop immunity or resistance, and in consequence to better understanding the phenomena of nonpreference, antixenosis, antibiosis and tolerance.

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