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Insects 2017, 8(3), 86; doi:10.3390/insects8030086

Minimal Pruning and Reduced Plant Protection Promote Predatory Mites in Grapevine

1
Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, Fortstraße 7, 76829 Landau, Germany
2
Julius Kühn Institute, Federal Research Institute for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Plant Protection in Viticulture, Geilweilerhof, 76833 Siebeldingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alberto Pozzebon, Carlo Duso, Gregory M. Loeb and Geoff M. Gurr
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arthropod Pest Control in Orchards and Vineyards)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [241 KB, uploaded 24 August 2017]   |  

Abstract

Improving natural pest control by promoting high densities of predatory mites (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is an effective way to prevent damage by pest mites (e.g., Eriophyidae, Tetranychidae) and other arthropod taxa that can cause serious damage to vineyards. Here, we investigate the influence of innovative management on predatory mite densities. We compare (i) full versus reduced fungicide applications and (ii) minimal pruning versus a traditional trellis pruning system in four fungus-resistant grapevine varieties. As predatory mites also feed on fungus mycelium, we assessed fungal infection of grapevine leaves in the experimental vineyard. Predatory mites were significantly more abundant in both minimal pruning and under reduced plant protection. Increases in predatory mites appeared to be independent of fungal infection, suggesting mostly direct effects of reduced fungicides and minimal pruning. In contrast to predatory mites, pest mites did not increase under innovative management. Thus, conditions for natural pest control are improved in fungus-resistant grapevines and under minimal pruning, which adds to other advantages such as environmental safety and reduced production cost. View Full-Text
Keywords: viticulture; beneficial arthropods; Typhlodromus pyri; fungicide; fungus-resistant cultivars; sustainable agriculture; ecosystem services; natural pest control viticulture; beneficial arthropods; Typhlodromus pyri; fungicide; fungus-resistant cultivars; sustainable agriculture; ecosystem services; natural pest control
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pennington, T.; Kraus, C.; Alakina, E.; Entling, M.H.; Hoffmann, C. Minimal Pruning and Reduced Plant Protection Promote Predatory Mites in Grapevine. Insects 2017, 8, 86.

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