Main content area

Effect of plant architecture and hail nets on temperature of codling moth habitats in apple orchards

Kührt, Ute, Samietz, Jörg, Dorn, Silvia
Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 2006 v.118 no.3 pp. 245-259
Cydia pomonella, Malus domestica, plant architecture, hail, nets (equipment), microhabitats, microclimate, air temperature, surface temperature, leaf area index, bark, fruits (plant anatomy), dwarf cultivars, insect development, Switzerland
Plant architecture of apple trees in commercial orchards was rapidly changed from traditional tall trees to dwarf trees to optimize yield and fruit quality. Additionally, hail nets are widely used to prevent yield loss by hail. These changes are expected to considerably influence the orchard microclimate and thus the developmental rates of pest insects in apple. However, these relationships have not yet been fully elucidated. The present study was conducted over the seasonal cycle to investigate the influence of plant architecture and hail nets on the habitat temperatures of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), in apple, Malus domestica Borkh. (Rosaceae). Within the canopies, leaf area index (LAI) and global site factor (GSF) were quantified using hemispherical photography. Temperature was analysed for the main habitats of the different codling moth stages, i.e., air within the canopy, bark of tree stems, and apple fruit. In dwarf trees, LAI was lower, leading to a higher GSF than in tall trees. Hail nets did not influence LAI and GSF. Results for dwarf trees compare as follows with those for tall trees: Average air temperatures within the canopy were 0.7 °C higher during daytime, whereas 0.4 °C lower at night. Mean surface temperatures of bark were 0.9 °C higher on sunny and 0.4 °C on overcast days. Mean surface temperatures of apple fruits were 1.8-2.7 °C higher on sunny days, but 0.6 °C cooler on overcast days. The effect of hail nets was confined to a reduction of the air temperature within the canopy by approximately 0.2-0.8 °C. Bark and apple surface temperatures were not significantly affected. Based on the temperature differences in the habitats considered, the calculated development of the codling moth in dwarf trees was on average 3 days faster than in tall trees. The calculations imply a negligible effect of hail nets on codling moth development.