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Early-season predation on aphids by winter-active spiders in apple orchards revealed by diagnostic PCR

  • C. Boreau de Roincé (a1) (a2) (a3), C. Lavigne (a2), J.-F. Mandrin (a1), C. Rollard (a4) and W.O.C. Symondson (a3)...


Aphids are major pests in apple orchards, debilitating the crop and spreading disease. We investigated whether early-season predation by canopy spiders may be effectively controlling aphid numbers in three organic orchards. For this purpose, we monitored the aphid population dynamics from the winter eggs to colony stages and compared this to spider abundances and rates of predation on aphids detected by diagnostic polymerase chain reaction. For the latter, we applied existing general aphid primers. We found that spiders ate colony fundatrices and that aphid numbers were negatively related to spider abundance. Spiders were the main active predators within the orchards when the first colony fundatrices were present, indicating their importance in the early control of aphid populations.


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Early-season predation on aphids by winter-active spiders in apple orchards revealed by diagnostic PCR

  • C. Boreau de Roincé (a1) (a2) (a3), C. Lavigne (a2), J.-F. Mandrin (a1), C. Rollard (a4) and W.O.C. Symondson (a3)...


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