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Biotic factors are more important than abiotic factors in regulating the abundance of Plutella xylostella L., in Southern Brazil

Marchioro, Cesar Augusto, Foerster, Luís Amilton
Revista Brasileira de entomologia 2016 v.60 no.4 pp. 328-333
Apanteles, Diadegma, Oomyzus sokolowskii, Plutella xylostella, Tachinidae, biotic factors, broccoli, crops, environmental factors, field experimentation, financial economics, host plants, larvae, parasitism, parasitoids, plant age, planting, population dynamics, rain, regression analysis, relative humidity, temperature, winter, Brazil
The serious economic loss caused Plutella xylostella L., 1758 in several regions of the world has prompted a demand for alternative management strategies. In this context, understanding the key factors governing the population dynamics of the pest is important for development of management strategies. This study aimed to identify the larval parasitoids associated with P. xylostella and investigate the biotic (crop subspecies, plant age and parasitism) and abiotic factors (minimum and maximum temperatures, rainfall, relative humidity and planting season) affecting the population dynamics of the pest in organic crops located in Southern Paraná State, Brazil. Despite the continuous and abundant availability of host plants throughout the year, P. xylostella occurred between June and November, and the largest peaks of abundance were observed between August and September, when low temperatures and rainfall were recorded. According to the stepwise regression analysis, P. xylostella was more abundant in broccoli during winter. Neither temperature, nor rainfall significantly influenced pest abundance. Four species of larval parasitoids were identified associated with the pest, of which Diadegma leontiniae (Brèthes) (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), Apanteles piceotrichosus Blanchard (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Siphona sp. Meigen (Diptera: Tachinidae) were abundant, while Oomyzus sokolowskii (Kurdjumov) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) was rarely found. Parasitism was the major factor influencing population dynamics of P. xylostella, contributing to 48% of the variation in pest abundance. These results show the importance of larval parasitoids complex in regulating P. xylostella population and that the temperature and rainfall recorded during field experiments did not influenced pest abundance.