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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #308008

Title: Evaluating plant volatiles for monitoring natural enemies in apple, pear and walnut orchards

item JONES, VINCENT - Washington State University
item Horton, David
item MILLS, NICHOLAS - University Of California
item Unruh, Thomas
item BAKER, CALLIE - Washington State University
item MELTON, TAWNEE - Washington State University
item Miliczky, Eugene
item Steffan, Shawn
item SHEARER, PETER - Oregon State University
item AMARASEKARE, KAUSHALYA - Oregon State University

Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2015
Publication Date: 4/23/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Jones, V.P., Horton, D.R., Mills, N.J., Unruh, T.R., Baker, C.C., Melton, T.D., Miliczky, E., Steffan, S.A., Shearer, P.W., Amarasekare, K.G. 2015. Evaluating plant volatiles for monitoring natural enemies in apple, pear and walnut orchards. Biological Control. 102:53-65. doi: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2015.03.009.

Interpretive Summary: Natural enemy communities in virtually any agricultural system are poorly known. This study employs herbivore induced plant volatiles as lures within traps to reveal previously unknown arthropod diversity in commercial orchard systems. Further, certain attractants are clearly superior as lures for select insect groups, such as lacewings, syrphids, and parasitoids. Impact Statement: This study applies a novel method (floral and herbivore-induced plant volatiles) to the surveillance of natural enemy communities. The data reveal remarkable insect diversity, particularly among the parasitic Hymenoptera. Importantly, this work shows how specific lure combinations are attractive to particular insect groups, furthering the potential to use such lures as natural enemy monitoring tools.

Technical Abstract: As part of an effort to enhance biological control in Western orchards, we examine different combinations of herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs), floral volatiles, and trap combinations that would be useful in monitoring key natural enemies. In all crops, we found lure/trap combinations that enabled us to monitor lacewings, syrphids, and specific parasitoids known to attack secondary pests in the orchard. The proper combination of trap types and volatile blends allows us to make either highly specific traps or ones that monitor a broad range of natural enemies. Our blend studies show that methyl-salicylate or acetic acid are often very poor attractants by themselves, but synergize several HIPVs or floral volatiles either separately or when used in combination.