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Title: Thermal biology of three potential glasshouse biocontrol agents (Euseius spp.) and the target pest, Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Phytoseiidae), whilst assessing public understanding of pest control methods
Author: White, Nicola
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 7058
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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The world population is continually growing with an increasing food demand to match whilst pests represent a major loss to agricultural production. The aim of this thesis was to assess the overwintering survival and activity potential of three candidate biological control agents, \(Euseius\) \((Amblyseius)\) \(ovalis\) Evans; \(Euseius\) \(stipulatus\) Athias-Henriot and \(Euseius\) \(gallicus\) Kreiter and Tixier (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Cold tolerance assessments indicated that both \(Euseius\) \(ovalis\) and \(Euseius\) \(stipulatus\), as non-native species, were physiologically ill-adapted to UK winter temperatures. \(Euseius\) \(gallicus\), as a species native to temperate European countries, was found to have an acclimation and diapause trait, being well-adapted to survive a UK winter. Thermal activity thresholds supported all three Euseius spp. as efficient agents against \(Tetranychus\) \(urticae\) under low temperature conditions, with \(Euseius\) \(gallicus\)’ acclimated lower activity threshold supporting its use in open-field releases of native countries. The data from the cold tolerance of \(Euseius\) spp. and \(Tetranychus\) \(urticae\) have further enhanced the reliability of the winter survival regression (LTime\(_50\) at 5°C) as an essential component of arthropod cold survival assessments. Finally, this thesis presents a study on the role of the media in public understanding and awareness of pest control strategies; discussed with regards to food security.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) ; BioBest
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH301 Biology