Annals of Applied Biology (2009) 155, 81-89

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A. Pozzebon, G.M. Loeb and C. Duso (2009)
Grape powdery mildew as a food source for generalist predatory mites occurring in vineyards: effects on life-history traits
Annals of Applied Biology 155 (1), 81-89
Abstract: In several perennial cropping systems, generalist or omnivorous species represent important biocontrol agents. They can persist on plants by feeding on alternative foods when prey is scarce and potentially limit pest outbreaks. Among beneficials characterised by a wide food range, those belonging to the acarine family Phytoseiidae represent important biocontrol agents. Generalist predatory mites can develop and reproduce using various food sources as alternatives to their tetranychid prey. The presence of alternative food sources can also induce switching feeding behaviour of generalist predators from prey to alternative foods. We evaluated in the laboratory the role of the grape powdery mildew (GPM) for the survival, development and reproduction of Amblyseius andersoni and Typhlodromus pyri, two important beneficial phytoseiid mites, in European and North-American vineyards. We also compared life-history parameters obtained when feeding on GPM with those obtained feeding on tetranychids mite prey or cattail pollen. Results indicated that GPM is an adequate food source for generalist mite survival and development. Results suggest that GPM can sustain mite populations in the absence of higher quality food sources. Based on optimal foraging theory, comparison of life-history parameters on GPM and mite prey suggests that the disruption of phytophagous mite control by these predatory mites in the presence of GPM appears unlikely. Implications for biological control in vineyards are discussed.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Alberto Pozzebon, Carlo Duso

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Tetranychus urticae Grapevine (Vitis)
Erysiphe necator Grapevine (Vitis)
Typhlodromus pyri (predator) Tetranychus urticae Grapevine (Vitis)
Amblyseius andersoni (predator) Tetranychus urticae Grapevine (Vitis)