Applied chemical ecology; filling the volatile gap
Abstract: The use of plant volatiles in integrated pest management (IPM) programs is a challenging topic. Often, much of the knowledge on the mechanisms behind insect host-plant location via volatiles remains confined to the laboratory. A gap is reported when transferring the knowledge gained in laboratory into a natural setting. Our talk offers an example of a combined approach with laboratory and field bioassays to develop an IPM system based on plant volatiles. We predicted that the background odour of the crop and the way of delivery of plant volatiles could be key factors in closing this gap. We tested this hypothesis on the system of Argyresthia conjugella, the apple fruit moth, and its host-plants (Sorbus aucuparia and Malus domestica). Results showed that the delivery system as well as the volatile background had a great influence on attraction of plant volatile lures. Both were relevant to successfully transfer the preliminary data obtained in the laboratory into a field setting. By taking these factors into consideration, a monitoring lure to track the apple fruit moth migration from rowan to apple was developed.