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Crop losses due to olive moth mediated by ethylene

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BACKGROUND:Studies for nine years in southern Spain on the olive moth, Prays oleae Bern., have tested the possibility of altering oviposition behaviour on newly formed olive fruits by means of a single ethylene application.

RESULTS:A single spraying of ethylene on the olive trees at the beginning of fruiting significantly decreased the olive moth egg populations and consequent the olive fruit fall. At the same time, no negative effect was found in the activity of natural oophagous predators of the olive moth.

CONCLUSIONS:The ethylene treatments against P. oleae yielded substantial economical benefits each year (a mean of €526 ha−1), benefits that fluctuated depending on the olive crop and on the annual fruit fall caused by this major pest. Copyright © 2008 Society of Chemical Industry

Keywords: Olea europaea; Prays oleae; crop yield; ethephon; ethylene; fruit fall; natural compounds; olive moth; oophagous predators

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2008

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