Influence of mechanical and manual pruning on the incidence of pests in ‘Clemenules’ mandarins
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Cita bibliográficaFonte, A., Garcerá, C. & Chueca, P. (2023). Influence of mechanical and manual pruning on the incidence of pests in ‘Clemenules’ mandarins. Pest Management Science. Published on-line [05 July 2023].
Background: In Spain, citrus pruning is usually done by hand, although mechanized pruning is gradually being introduced as a cheaper alternative. The pruning strategy affects the pattern and intensity of sprouting, and the canopy characteristics, and therefore could affect pest control. In this study, the effect of three pruning strategies on the incidence of key citrus pests was analyzed: manual, mechanical (with hedging and topping) and no pruning (control). In a commercial clementine orchard, sprouting, pest density and fruit damage were evaluated through three seasons. Results: Outside the canopy, mechanically pruned trees had a significantly higher number of shoots, and more shoots were attacked by aphids (cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii, and spirea aphid, A. spiraecola) in comparison with manual or control strategies. Inside the canopy statistically nonsignificant differences were found between strategies. Regarding the pest level of two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae, and California red scale, Aonidiella aurantii, in general, no significant differences were found between pruning strategies, and in some cases mechanical pruning resulted in a lower level of these pests and fruit damage than manual pruning. Conclusion: The density of aphids, which are pests associated with sprouting, was affected by the pruning strategy. However, the densities of T. urticae and A. aurantii and the level of damaged fruit were unaffected.