The twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) is a common pest in agricultural and ornamental crops. This pest can be controlled by resident predatory arthropods in certain situations. This research quantified the stability and resiliency of established conservation biological control of the twospotted spider mite in hop over a 5-yr period associated with nitrogen fertilization rate and use of a broad-spectrum insecticide. Biological control generally was stable and resilient over a sixfold range of nitrogen fertilization rates, and in only 1 of 5 yr did elevated nitrogen rates significantly affect populations of spider mites. In contrast, one application of the insecticide bifenthrin was associated with disruption of biological control and a severe outbreak of spider mites. The complex of natural enemies suppressed the outbreak during the same year in which bifenthrin was applied, but only after populations of spider mites exceeded levels associated with economic damage. However, in the following year the system returned to an equilibrium state where spider mites were suppressed below economically damaging levels. Therefore, conservation biological control in hop appears stable and robust to factors such as nitrogen fertilization that increase reproductive rates of spider mites but may be sensitive to factors such as nonselective insecticides that are lethal to natural enemies. Conservation biological control can be considered resilient to a single use of a nonselective insecticide in the year following the application, but not within the year of application.
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Vol. 48 • No. 4