Pollen provisioning for the promotion of biological control by omnivorous phytoseiids in organic greenhouses
It has become evident that most species of the predatory mite family Phytoseiidae are in fact omnivores that obtain nutrients from both prey and plant sources. The ability of omnivores to feed on both sources makes them ideal candidates as biological control agents (BCAs). Their unique nutritional ecology allows them to persist in the habitat and maintain populations by consuming plant food sources when prey is scarce. Pollen is a well-known food source that supports and sustains omnivorous populations that are natural enemies of pests, and improves pest suppression. In this short review we discuss the conservation of omnivorous phytoseiids for the control of pests. We review: 1) the attributes of omnivores as BCAs; 2) pollen provisioning for the conservation and augmentation of BCAs; 3) the intimate relationship of omnivorous phytoseiid predators with their plant host; 4) pollen provisioning for the augmentation of phytoseiid predators in organic protected cropping systems and conclude with some remarks for proposed future research.
Palevsky, E. 2017. Pollen provisioning for the promotion of biological control by omnivorous phytoseiids in organic greenhouses. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1164:383-390
protected crops, biological control, conservation biological control, Euseius scutalis, Amblyseius swirskii