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Establishment of Amblyseius swirskii in greenhouse crops using food supplements

Vangansbeke, Dominiek, Nguyen, Duc Tung, Audenaert, Joachim, Gobin, Bruno, Tirry, Luc, Clercq, Patrick De
Systematic and applied acarology 2016 v.21 no.9 pp. 1174-1184
Amblyseius swirskii, Artemia franciscana, Chrysanthemum, Typha angustifolia, artificial diets, crops, dietary supplements, greenhouse experimentation, greenhouses, humidity, ornamental plants, photoperiod, pollen, predatory mites, temperature
Food supplementation is an emerging strategy to improve the establishment and resilience of generalist predators in greenhouse crops. This study was conducted to assess the pre-establishment of the generalist predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot (Phytoseiidae) on two ornamental greenhouse crops, chrysanthemum and ivy. In the first greenhouse trial, we compared two commercial products consisting of Typha angustifolia pollen and decapsulated brine shrimp cysts (Artemia spp.), respectively, with a powdered artificial diet (AD) as food supplements for the predator on chrysanthemum plants at a constant temperature regime of 25°C at a 16:8 h (L:D) photoperiod. A population of A. swirskii established well when T. angustifolia pollen or the artificial diet were applied, but did not when the Artemia product was used as a supplement. A second trial on ivy plants was conducted at two temperature regimes (a constant 25°C and an alternating temperature regime of 30°C/15°C, both at a 16:8 h (L:D) photoperiod), comparing T. angustifolia pollen, the artificial diet and a non-commercial strain of Artemia franciscana cysts as food supplements. At the constant temperature regime, all three food sources allowed the establishment of A. swirskii. At the alternating temperature regime, however, T. angustifolia pollen and the AD but not A. franciscana cysts allowed a population of the predator to establish. Failure of establishment on the latter food supplement was attributed to dehydration effects under low humidity conditions in the greenhouse associated with the higher daytime temperatures at the alternating temperature regime. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the potential of T. angustifolia pollen and an artificial diet as a food supplement to support a population of A. swirskii in different ornamental crops.