Effect of the ground cover management on Cacopsylla bidens (Šulc, 1907) populations in pear orchards

D. Valle, V. Mujica, M. Silvera, A. Borges, R. Zoppolo, E. Morelli
Cacopsylla bidens (Šulc, 1907) is one of the key pests of pear. Its management has been based on broad-spectrum insecticides, which cause the appearance of resistance and the disappearance of the population of the natural controllers. This fact makes it necessary to find alternative strategies to control this pest, and the biological control can be a sustainable solution in the long term. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of the ground cover management on psyllid populations and its natural enemies and register the natural enemies' families present in Uruguay. Sampling was conducted in southern Uruguay, between 2013 and 2015. Two treatments were evaluated: regular cut of spontaneous vegetation of interrow with herbicide in the row, and uncut vegetation of the interrow with no herbicide. To determine the presence of beneficial arthropods, a garden vacuum cleaner was used on a weekly basis. Psylla catches were significantly lower in the uncut treatment compared to the other treatment. Natural enemies, on the contrary, were higher in the uncut treatment. The pool of natural enemies found was present throughout the year and was composed of predators belonging to the families Anthocoridae, Miridae, Chrysopidae, Coccinellidae, Syrphidae and the order Aranae, as well as parasitoids belonging to the family Encyrtidae. These results allow us to conclude that treatment without management of the ground cover generates a condition beneficial for the increase of populations of natural enemies, probably due to better feeding and multiplication conditions. This beneficial fauna seems to control psyllid populations providing an alternative for management of pear psyllid, reducing the use of insecticides in the orchards.
Valle, D., Mujica, V., Silvera, M., Borges, A., Zoppolo, R. and Morelli, E. (2021). Effect of the ground cover management on Cacopsylla bidens (Šulc, 1907) populations in pear orchards. Acta Hortic. 1303, 375-380
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1303.52
Psyllidae, Entomophagos, 'Williams' pear, conservational biological control, integrated pest management

Acta Horticulturae