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Sorribas J.,CNRS Ecosystems, Biodiversity, and Evolution Laboratory | Gonzalez S.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Dominguez-Gento A.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA | Vercher R.,Polytechnic University of Valencia
Agronomy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2016

Predatory insects are key natural enemies that can highly reduce crops pest damage. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the movements of flying predatory insects in agroecosystems throughout the year. In particular, it is still unclear how these predators move from crop to non-crop habitats, which are the preferred habitats to overwinter and to spread during the spring and if these predators leave or stay after chemical treatments. Here, the Neuroptera, a generalist, highly mobile, flying predator order of insects, was selected as model. We studied the effects of farming management and the efficiency of edge shelterbelts, ground cover vegetation, and fruit trees canopy on holding flying predatory insects in Mediterranean traditional agroecosystems. Seasonal movements and winter effects were also assessed. We evaluated monthly nine fruit agroecosystems, six organic, and three pesticides sprayed, of 0.5–1 ha in eastern Spain during 3 years using two complementary methods, yellow sticky traps and aspirator. Results show surprisingly that the insect abundance was highest in pesticide sprayed systems, with 3.40 insects/sample versus 2.32 insects/sample in organic systems. The biodiversity indices were highest in agroecosystems conducted under organic management, with S of 4.68 and D of 2.34. Shelterbelts showed highest biodiversity indices, S of 3.27 and D of 1.93, among insect habitats. Insect species whose adults were active during the winter preferred fruit trees to spend all year round. However, numerous species moved from fruit trees to shelterbelts to overwinter and dispersed into the orchard during the following spring. The ground cover vegetation showed statistically much lower attractiveness for flying predatory insects than other habitats. Shelterbelts should therefore be the first option in terms of investment in ecological infrastructures enhancing flying predators. © 2016, INRA and Springer-Verlag France. Source

Alcon F.,Technical University of Cartagena | Garcia-Martinez M.C.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA | De-Miguel M.D.,Technical University of Cartagena | Fernandez-Zamudio M.A.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA
HortScience | Year: 2010

The Mediterranean basin holds the greatest area of horticultural crops grown under plastic in the world. Spain houses almost 50,000 ha of greenhouses and is one of the largest suppliers of European Union markets. Soilless cropping systems constitute an efficient production practice used in greenhouses and lessen the limitations arising from the ban of methyl bromide. Soilless cultivation is associated with the use of expensive technology, which makes farmers consider such adoption carefully. The aim of this work is to statistically identify the factors that significantly influence the timing of adopting soilless cultivation by using duration analysis. The study focuses on Mediterranean greenhouses, specifically horticultural producers in the southeast of Spain. The results suggest that certain individual characteristics as well as aspects of a social nature exert a favorable influence by reducing the delay in adopting soilless cultivation. Furthermore, technical complexity, commercial aspects related to price, and the repercussion of policies regulating methyl bromide use are also discussed in this work. Source

Karaca H.,Pamukkale University | Perez-Gago M.B.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA | Taberner V.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA | Palou L.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2014

Common food preservative agents were evaluated in in vitro tests for their antifungal activity against Monilinia fructicola, the most economically important pathogen causing postharvest disease of stone fruits. Radial mycelial growth was measured in Petri dishes of PDA amended with three different concentrations of the agents (0.01-0.2%, v/v) after 7. days of incubation at 25. °C. Thirteen out of fifteen agents tested completely inhibited the radial growth of the fungus at various concentrations. Among them, ammonium carbonate, ammonium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate were the most effective while sodium acetate and sodium formate were the least effective. The effective agents and concentrations were tested as ingredients of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC)-lipid edible coatings against brown rot disease on plums previously inoculated with M. fructicola (curative activity). 'Friar' and 'Larry Ann' plums were inoculated with the pathogen, coated with stable edible coatings about 24. h later, and incubated at 20. °C and 90% RH. Disease incidence (%) and severity (lesion diameter) were determined after 4, 6, and 8. days of incubation and the 'area under the disease progress stairs' (AUDPS) was calculated. Coatings containing bicarbonates and parabens significantly reduced brown rot incidence in plums, but potassium sorbate, used at 1.0% in the coating formulation, was the most effective agent with a reduction rate of 28.6%. All the tested coatings reduced disease severity to some extent, but coatings containing 0.1% sodium methylparaben or sodium ethylparaben or 0.2% ammonium carbonate or ammonium bicarbonate were superior to the rest, with reduction rates of 45-50%. Overall, the results showed that most of the agents tested in this study had significant antimicrobial activity against M. fructicola and the application of selected antifungal edible coatings is a promising alternative for the control of postharvest brown rot in plums. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Palou L.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA | Taberner V.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA | Guardado A.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA | Montesinos-Herrero C.,Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research IVIA
Australasian Plant Disease Notes | Year: 2012

Important economic losses due to postharvest decay have been recently reported by the persimmon industry in Spain. The autochthonous cultivar 'Rojo Brillante' and the cultivar 'Triumph' were both affected during cold storage in commercial packinghouses in the Valencia area. Symptoms were black spots and the causal agent was isolated and identified as Alternaria alternata. Koch's postulates were demonstrated. © 2012 Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc. Source

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