Plant pest invasions: Colonization, impact, predictions and management


Abstract: Emerging crop pests are often exotic. These are species that have been unintentionally moved into new regions where they establish and increasingly represent a challenge to plants in the recipient region. For instance, more than 80 alien mite species have been introduced in Europe during the past 50 years, most of them reaching the status of pests. Because many exotics become invasive, it is urgent to put efforts in better knowing how and where pests move to gain knowledge in predicting the risk of colonizing new regions and prevent invasions to expand but also to avoid new to occur. To this end, studies of the mechanisms of invasions and associated pathways are needed not only to monitor and intercept species but also for the management of invasive pests. Here I focus on these questions taking as an example the invasive spider mite, Tetranychus evansi. For its control in new colonized areas, continuous and novel international efforts have focused on searching exotic phytoseiids candidates. Interestingly, such exotics are beneficial. The study of invasion processes is relevant to both the unintentional introduction of exotic pests and the intentional introduction of natural enemies.Extended abstract

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