In a crop system, "Secondary plants" favor the efficiency of biological control systems by facilitating the establishment of pest natural enemies. We demonstrated that the use of this strategy is promising for the control of red spider (Tetranychusurticae), a common rose pest,in greenhouse conditions. We tried to find the best suited regional plant species to be used as secondary plants to enhance the efficiency of predators. The hypothesis was that various secondary plant species induce various numbers of predators and pests, depending on plants functional attributes.
We performed a series of experiments with eight regional plant species in different combinations with two predators (mitesAmblyseiuscalifornicus andPhytoseiuluspersimilis), a pest (red spider), and rose crops. The plantsViburnum tinusand Vitis riparia proved to be more efficient to increase the installation and propagation of both predators. The better installation and higher number of predatory mites on these two plant species was related to the presence of domatia* on their leaves.
*domatia: formations made of hairs in the axes of leaf veins.
- Parolin P., Bresch C., Desneux N., Brun R., Bout A., Boll R. & Poncet C. (2012). Secondary plants used in biological control: A review.International Journal of Pest Management, 58, 2: 91-100.
- Poncet C., Mailleret L., Desneux N., Muller M., Bout A., Brun R., Pizzol J., Boll R., Bresch C., Parolin P. & Fatnassi H. (2012). The ecological approach of greenhouse agro-ecosystem: practical interest for IPM. ActaHorticulturae, 927, 173-185.
- Parolin P., Bresch C., Bout A., Ruiz G., Poncet C. & Desneux N. (2012c). Testing banker plants for predator installation. ActaHorticulturae, 927, 211-217.
- Parolin P., Bresch C., Muller M.M., Errard A. & Poncet C. (2011). Distribution of acarodomatia and predatory mites onViburnum tinus.Journal of Mediterranean Ecology, 11, 41-48.