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Influence of agro-ecological service crop termination and synthetic biodegradable film covering on Aphis gossypii Glover (Rhynchota: Aphididae) infestation and natural enemy dynamics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 April 2017

Serena Magagnoli*
Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Bologna, Italy
Laura Depalo
Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Bologna, Italy
Antonio Masetti
Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Bologna, Italy
Gabriele Campanelli
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria – Unità di ricerca per l'orticoltura, Via Salaria, 1. Monsampolo del Tronto (AP), Italy
Stefano Canali
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria – Centro di ricerca per le relazioni tra pianta e suolo, Via della Navicella, 2, Roma, Italy
Fabrizio Leteo
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria – Unità di ricerca per l'orticoltura, Via Salaria, 1. Monsampolo del Tronto (AP), Italy
Giovanni Burgio
Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Bologna, Italy
*Corresponding author:


Agro-ecological service crops (ASC) can increase the vegetation complexity of agroecosystems leading to a positive impact on natural enemies of arthropod pests and on weed control. In this study, two ASC terminations (green manure and roller crimper) and a Mater-Bi-mulched control (MB) were compared in order to describe the effects on pests and beneficial dynamics in an organic vegetable system. The trials were conducted over two consecutive growing seasons in 2014 and 2015. Zucchini were grown as cash crop and barley as ASC. Pests and natural enemies were monitored fortnightly by visual samplings along the whole zucchini-growing season. Zucchini plants showed a faster vegetative growth in MB treatment than in ASC terminations. In both years, MB plots were characterized by higher soil temperature and higher leaf nitrogen concentration resulting in plants more susceptible to Aphis gossypii infestations. In all the experimental plots, natural enemies controlled aphid infestations and no insecticide and sprays were necessary. In conclusion, the tested ASC techniques have been suggested as a tool to mitigate aphid infestation.

Research Paper
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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