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Water Vapor Pressure Deficit in Portugal and Implications for the Development of the Invasive African Citrus Psyllid Trioza erytreae

1
Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Triangulo Mineiro (IFTM), 38064-790 Uberaba, Brazil
2
Divisão de Clima e Alterações Climáticas, Departamento de Meteorologia e Geofísica, Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera I. P. (IPMA, IP), Rua C do Aeroporto, 1749-077 Lisboa, Portugal
3
MED - Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, University of Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
4
Direção Regional de Agricultura e Pescas do Algarve, Patacão, 8001-904 Faro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(4), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11040229
Received: 28 January 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 4 April 2020 / Published: 7 April 2020
African citrus psyllid (Trioza erytreae (Del Guercio)) is a vector insect of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter africanus, the putative causal agent of Huanglongbing, the most devastating citrus disease in the world. The insect was found on the island of Madeira in 1994 and in mainland Portugal in 2015. Present in the north and center of the country, it is a threat to Algarve, the main citrus-producing region. Trioza erytreae eggs and first instar nymphs are sensitive to the combination of high temperatures and low relative humidity. Daily maximum air temperature and minimum relative humidity data from 18 weather stations were used to calculate the water vapor pressure deficit (vpd) from 2004 to 2018 at various locations. Based on the mean vpd and the number of unfavorable days (vpd < 34.5 and vpd < 56 mbar) of two time periods (February to May and June to September), less favorable zones for T. erytreae were identified. The zones with thermal and water conditions like those observed in the Castelo Branco and Portalegre (Center), Beja (Alentejo), Alte, and Norinha (Algarve) stations showed climatic restrictions to the development of eggs and first instar nymphs of African citrus psyllid. Effective control measures, such as the introduction and mass release of Tamarixia dryi (Waterson), a specific parasitoid, and chemical control are necessary in favorable periods for T. erytreae development, such as in spring and in areas with limited or no climate restrictions. View Full-Text
Keywords: greening; Huanglongbing; Candidatus Liberibacter africanus; Triozidae; abiotic factor limitations greening; Huanglongbing; Candidatus Liberibacter africanus; Triozidae; abiotic factor limitations
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Paiva, P.E.B.; Cota, T.; Neto, L.; Soares, C.; Tomás, J.C.; Duarte, A. Water Vapor Pressure Deficit in Portugal and Implications for the Development of the Invasive African Citrus Psyllid Trioza erytreae. Insects 2020, 11, 229.

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