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Arthropod pests of currant and gooseberry crops in the U.K.: their biology, management and future prospects

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Approximately 10–12 species of Ribes plants are cultivated for fruit production, mainly blackcurrants, red‐ and whitecurrants and gooseberries. These crops are increasingly recognized as rich sources of vitamin C and anthocyanins, with production rising by 24% in Europe subsequent to 1998. To date, research into insect pests of Ribes has been fragmented, with little appreciation of how changes in climate and agronomic practices affect biology.

We review 12 key pests of currant and gooseberry crops in Northern Europe, with specific emphasis on their biology and current management options. These are blackcurrant leaf curling midge Dasineura tetensi, blackcurrant sawfly Nematus olfaciens, common gooseberry sawfly Nematus ribesii, European permanent currant aphid Aphis schneideri, redcurrant blister aphid Cryptomyzus ribis, currant–sowthistle aphid Hyperomyzus lactucae, European gooseberry aphid Aphis grossulariae, woolly vine scale Pulvinaria vitis, common green capsid Lygocoris pabulinus, winter moth Operophtera brumata, clear wing moth Synanthedon tipuliformis and blackcurrant gall mite Cecidophyopsis ribis.

It is anticipated that global climate change could lead to increases in the incidence of some aphids through increased overwintering survival and longer seasonal activity. Moreover, changes in management practices such as increased cropping densities (from 5400 ha−1 to 8700 ha−1) and machine harvesting could lead to pest outbreaks through optimal microhabitats and increased susceptibility to pest colonization.

Future management options are considered, focusing on integrated pest management approaches, including behaviour‐manipulating semiochemicals, predictive models, biocontrol and improved plant resistance through breeding.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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