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Dispersal behavior of Tetranychus evansi and T. urticae on tomato at several spatial scales and densities: Implications for integrated pest management

Azandémè-Hounmalon Y.G., Fellous S., Kreiter S., Fiaboe K.K.M., Subramanian S., Kungu M., Martin T.. 2014. PloS One, 9 (4) : 8 p..

Studying distribution is necessary to understand and manage the dynamics of species with spatially structured populations. Here we studied the distribution in Tetranychus evansi and T. urticae, two mite pests of tomato, in the scope of evaluating factors that can influence the effectiveness of Integrated Pest Management strategies. We found greater positive densitydependent distribution with T. evansi than T. urticae when assayed on single, detached tomato leaves. Indeed, T. evansi distribution among leaflets increased with initial population density while it was high even at low T. urticae densities. Intensity and rate of damage to whole plants was higher with T. evansi than T. urticae. We further studied the circadian migration of T. evansi within plant. When T. evansi density was high the distribution behavior peaked between 8 am and 3 pm and between 8 pm and 3 am local time of Kenya. Over 24 h the total number of mites ascending and descending was always similar and close to the total population size. The gregarious behavior of T. evansi combined with its rapid population growth rate, may explain why few tomato plants can be severely damaged by T. evansi and how suddenly all the crop can be highly infested. However the localisation and elimination of the first infested plants damaged by T. evansi could reduce the risk of outbreaks in the entire crop. These findings suggest also that an acaricide treated net placed on the first infested plants could be very effective to control T. evansi. Moreover circadian migration would therefore accentuate the efficiency of an acaricide treated net covering the infested plants. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : lutte intégrée; méthode de lutte; développement biologique; dynamique des populations; tetranychus; tetranychus urticae; solanum lycopersicum; kenya; tetranychus evansi

Thématique : Ravageurs des plantes

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