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Title: Monitoring the Bud Mite Pest in a Hazelnut Orchard of Central Italy: Do Plant Height and Irrigation Influence the Infestation Level?
Authors: Contarini, Mario 
Rossini, Luca 
Di Sora, Nicolò
de Lillo, Enrico
Speranza, Stefano 
Journal: AGRONOMY 
Issue Date: 2022
Mite pests are a serious threat for hazelnut cultivations, causing economic losses every year. At least two species of big bud mites, Phytoptus avellanae (Acari: Phytoptidae) and Cecidophyopsis vermiformis (Acari: Eriophyidae), are involved in severe hazelnut bud infestations, even though few studies report P. avellanae as the most present and harmful. Great steps forward have been made in monitoring and management strategies of these mite pests, but a plethora of questions remains unanswered about their ecology and behaviour and how agronomical practices impact populations. Given this precondition, we conducted a four-year monitoring in an experimental hazelnut orchard located in the Viterbo hazelnut district, Central Italy, to: (i) explore the potential effect that irrigation has on mite infestations, (ii) assess if mites locate in a particular band height of hazelnut plants; and (iii) assess the overall field infestation over the years. This study showed that not-irrigated plants and plants irrigated by underground pipe systems were similarly infested. Mites tend to locate in the middle band of the plant, namely from 1.5 to 3 m from the ground. The four-year survey showed an overall increasing infestation trend, with a peak in 2021 for irrigated plants and 2022 for not-irrigated. These results are a milestone for further exploration of the biology and ecology of this pest and to formulate ad hoc monitoring and control strategies as well.
ISSN: 2073-4395
DOI: 10.3390/agronomy12081982
Rights: CC0 1.0 Universal
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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