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Effect of vegetation management on autumn dispersal of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) from tomato

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Autumn dispersal of twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) from tomato to overwintering host plants was studied in field experiments during 2004–2006. Three vegetation management strategies (herbicide, cultivation and no vegetation control) were established around mite-infested, senescing tomato plants. Tetranychus urticae dispersal was monitored using trap plants of common chickweed (Stellaria media) at 2, 6 and 12 m from the tomatoes within each vegetation management plot. Chickweed plants were sampled in the autumn and spring from 2004 to 2006. Sticky traps were placed next to trap plants in the autumn of 2005 to monitor aerial dispersal of mites. Mite populations infesting chickweed were low, and autumn dispersal of mites from tomatoes to the chickweed plots was considered to be short range. The vegetation management strategies had no effect on mite densities found in the chickweed, but the capture of mites on sticky traps indicated that aerial dispersal was also a means of dispersal to overwintering hosts.
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Keywords: aerial dispersal; overwinter; twospotted spider mite

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA 2:  Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Mills River, NC, USA

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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