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Factors Affecting Black Fly Larval Mortality and Carry of Two Formulations of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis Tested in the Same Stream During a 3-Year Experiment

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Over the last 20 years, many formulations of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) have been commercialized for the biological control of black flies in abatement programs. However, products were tested in different streams and under different environmental conditions, thus rendering the evaluation of the performance of liquid formulations of Bti very arbitrary or even impossible. Using a new field procedure, two commercial liquid formulations of Bti, Teknar HP-D and Vectobac 1200L, were for the first time tested within short time intervals in the same stream and under environmental conditions that allowed better comparison of the behavior and the performance (carry) of both products. Field results from tests using the products tested in either the same (replicate) or different environmental (abiotic) conditions were analyzed and compared. Results of the 3-year experiment showed that both water temperature and discharge had an important effect on the performance of both products (Teknar HP-D and Vectobac 1200L). In temperate water temperature (16°C) and similar discharge (70 l s-1), Teknar HP-D and Vectobac 1200L did not show a significant difference in their carry50 (distance where 50% of black fly larvae mortality is recorded). However, an increase in water temperature (20- 22°C) or in the discharge (250-350 l s-1) enhanced significantly the carry50 of both products with Vectobac 1200L having a longer carry than Teknar HP-D. Other abiotic elements such as the hyporheic zone and adsorption onto periphyton were also identified as factors affecting the behavior and the carry of the products. However, more work should be done on the loss of the residual dosages along the stream to better understand the relation between the dosages and the resulting field mortality that would lead to suggestions on how to improve Bti formulations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-12-01

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