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Title: The use of semiochemicals to enhance the natural control of pests of arable crops by invertebrate predators
Author: Kirkland, Dean Lee
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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The electrophysiological and behavioural responses of the aphidophagous hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus Degear, and polyphagous ground beetles Pterostichus melanarius Illiger and Nebria brevicollis Linneaus, to a range of volatile semiochemicals were studied. Phacelia tanaectfiolia flower extract, Nepeta cataria whole plant extract, and (E)-β-farnesene where found to be attractive to the predators in laboratory and windtunnell assays. Field trials demonstrated that the attractive semiochemicals could be placed in dispensers in arable crops to increase the amount of predators present throughout the field system. There was also a corresponding decrease in the number of pest species present in the treated field plots relative to the control plots. Phacelia flower extract was found to have the greatest effects on predator and prey numbers. The mechanisms of the reduction in prey numbers were studied using exclusion experiments in the field and enzyme linked immunosorbant assays on the gut contents of the predators. There was found to be a link between the increased rates of predation in the field and the decline in pest numbers. The potential of semiochemicals to enhance natural control of crop pests is discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available