Why multidisciplinary approaches for controlling mite pests?


Abstract: Mite pests are essentially controlled with other mites, the predators of the family Phytoseiidae. They are used in the three main biological control modalities: augmentative, classical and conservation even if more examples are documented for the former strategy with 12 species currently sold in Europe. The presentation aims to list where we are for all these strategies and what are the lacks / tracks to go further. These tracks are divided in three main categories: (i) predator/prey interactions, (ii) the plant traits and their impact on this latter couple and (iii) agronomic practices at plant level (i.e. fertilisation, weed management, water stress, biological soil community) and their direct or indirect impacts on predator prey interactions. The communication lists the challenges for these three main categories with illustrations and examples. The topics presented are the importance of taxonomical knowledge, phylogeny, predator life traits modelling, population genetics studies and implications for knowledge of interaction between preys and predators. Plant defence / plant appetence knowledge are also discussed to determine how these features can be used for various biocontrol applications and situations (direct defences, molecules involved, beetle bank for predatory mites). Finally, a synthesis on what we know on soil management and impact on mite community is proposed to determine how the plant physiology can affect the interaction between prey and predators and further biological control. After listing what we know and what we should know, a conclusion adresses the disciplinary collaboration (i.e. as genetics, ecology, agronomy and ecophysiology) needed to reach mite control within a new agroecological context.

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