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Monitoring the Attack Incidences and Damage Caused by the Almond Bark Beetle, Scolytus amygdali, in Almond Orchards

Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Bizerte 7021, Tunisia
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, 1911 SW 34th Street, Gainesville, FL 32614-7100, USA
Independent Science Advisor, York YO10 5AQ, UK
Laboratory of Entomology, Regional Center of Research on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, The University of Sousse, Chott-Mariem, Sousse 4042, Tunisia
Deparment of Olive Tree Physiology, Institute of the Olive Tree Station of Sousse, 40 Street Ibn Khouldoun, Sousse 4061, Tunisia
Z.A. and M.Z.A. contributed equally to this work and share first authorship together.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 1 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Monitoring and Trapping in Agricultural Systems)
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The almond bark beetle, Scolytus amygdali Geurin-Meneville, is responsible for significant loss of fruit production in almond orchards throughout the world. Here, we studied the damage and the incidences of S. amygdali attack on two different scales: (1) at the level of a single tree; and (2) in an entire orchard. Our results revealed no differences in attack level among four orientations (east, west, south and north sides) for the whole tree. However, the bark that was facing west side in the direction of the prevailing wind was found to be the most suitable for females to initiate attack in Stratum S2. Attack distribution remains the same among different strata (strata is vertical divisions of the tree from the ground to the uppermost twigs with ~40 cm intervals). More than 50% of attack was observed in the trunk of the tree and upper strata. However, multiplication rate (number of emerged adults/maternal gallery) varies significantly between strata. In addition, we studied attack intensity (holes produced by beetle per tree) comparing it to tree morphology (flowers, leaves and circumferences) and gum deposit. Our results revealed a positive correlation between attack intensity and gum deposits, and a negative correlation between attack intensity and tree morphology. This revealed that gum on the tree was an indicator for attack intensity. A positive correlation between attack intensity and the circumference of the tree revealed that older trees were more susceptible to S. amygdali attack. These results, while preliminary, aim to help in the monitoring of S. amygdali populations before deciding to apply any control measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: attack; almond orchard; distribution; feeding preference; Tunisia attack; almond orchard; distribution; feeding preference; Tunisia

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Zeiri, A.; Ahmed, M.Z.; Cuthbertson, A.G.S.; Braham, M.; Braham, M. Monitoring the Attack Incidences and Damage Caused by the Almond Bark Beetle, Scolytus amygdali, in Almond Orchards. Insects 2018, 9, 1.

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