Compatibility of organic farming treatments against Monosteira unicostata with non-target arthropod fauna of almond trees canopy

Ismael Sánchez-Ramos, Aránzazu Marcotegui, Susana Pascual, Cristina E. Fernández, Guillermo Cobos, Manuel González-Núñez

Abstract


Field trials had shown that 1-2 applications of kaolin and potassium salts of fatty acids combined with thyme essential oil (PSTEO) reduced the abundance of the lace bug Monosteira unicostata (Mulsant & Rey) (Hemiptera: Tingidae), an important pest of almond trees in the Mediterranean region. These products could be useful for the control of this pest in organic production of almonds, but higher number of applications could be necessary. However, the possible detrimental effects on the almond orchard ecosystem should be evaluated. In the present work, the effects observed on the non-target arthropod fauna of the almond trees canopy in those field assays are shown. First, a comprehensive report of the non-target arthropod fauna of the almond tree is provided. Regarding natural enemies, most of the predatory arthropods captured were spiders belonging to different families like Salticidae, Thomisidae, Philodromidae, Theridiidae, Araneidae or Oxyopidae. Other predatory families that appeared in significant numbers were Chrysopidae, Anthocoridae, Aeolothripidae, Coccinellidae, Phytoseiidae, Erythraeidae or Forficulidae. Among parasitoids, the most abundant families were Eulophidae, Scelionidae and Dryinidae. Kaolin reduced the abundance of natural enemies and other non-target arthropods as well as their diversity and number of species. On the contrary, PSTEO only produced a slight reduction in the number of natural enemies, whereas no effect was found on the diversity and species richness. These effects were observed despite the reduced number of applications, so greater effect is expected if its frequency is increased in order to achieve an efficient control of M. unicostata.


Keywords


kaolin; insecticidal soaps; thyme essential oil; organic almond production; Prunus dulcis; natural enemies

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References


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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2017152-10515