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American University of Beirut (2020)

Using Indigenous Amblyseius swirskii and Phytoseiulus persimilis to Manage Pests on Pepper Plants Irrigated with Aquaculture Water

Ireland, Bridget

Titre : Using Indigenous Amblyseius swirskii and Phytoseiulus persimilis to Manage Pests on Pepper Plants Irrigated with Aquaculture Water

Auteur : Ireland, Bridget

Université de soutenance  : American University of Beirut

Grade : Master of Science 2020

Résumé
Population growth, limited food production abilities and water quality issues are major concerns for the world today. Adaptions to mainstream traditional agriculture are necessary to ensure the continued health of the world’s population and maintain water quality. Some options for more sustainable food production methods include integrated aquaculture-agriculture systems (IAA) to conserve water and integrated pest management (IPM) practices to limit pesticide use. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of Lebanese-reared biological control agents Amblyseius swirskii and Phytoseiulus persimilis against common greenhouse pests on pepper plants irrigated with aquaculture water. The study took place at the AUB Advancing Research Enabling Communities (AREC) facility in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon. Six metal, high-tunnel tunnels were covered in 50 gauge white insect netting. All plants were irrigated with aquaculture effluent and thus not fertilized. IPM practices were employed to manage whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, and aphids three of the tunnels in the study area, and the remaining three tunnels were left untreated and used as a control. Results show that A. swirskii was effective in reducing the infestation level of whiteflies and thrips. Additionally, spider mites were maintained below economic thresholds by P. persimilis for the 81 days of the study. A tank mix of Beauveria pseudobassiana fungus and the natural fermentation product Spinosad, which is used as an organic pesticide, did not significantly reduce aphid populations below economic threshold levels. Nevertheless, all IPM tunnels produced a much higher yield of peppers and healthier plants than the control, indicating that the common agricultural pests whiteflies, spider mites and thrips can be managed with IPM practices in the Beqaa Valley.

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Page publiée le 25 mai 2021