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12 April 2023 A comparison of candidate banker plants for management of pests in lettuce
Brian N. Hogg, Erik H. Nelson, Kent M. Daane
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Agricultural systems are often lacking in resources for natural enemies. Providing alternative prey can help natural enemies persist through periods of low pest abundance, although this approach has been rarely commercially implemented in open field crops. In this study, we tested the potential of eight plant species to provide alternative prey to natural enemies in lettuce fields over a 2-yr period. Results showed that the tested plants would not act as sources of the lettuce aphid Nasonovia ribisnigri Mosley (Hemiptera: Aphididae), the primary lettuce pest. Of the banker plants tested, barley contained high numbers of non-lettuce aphids and appeared to provide reliable habitat for hoverfly larvae. However, lettuce aphids were present on lettuce early in the season, and may have dwarfed any effects of nonlettuce aphids on natural enemy populations. Numbers of hoverfly larvae were also high in lettuce, but did not appear to track numbers of non-lettuce aphids on banker plants. In contrast, numbers of lacewing larvae were highest on plants containing high numbers of non-lettuce aphids, and predatory hemipterans appeared to be associated with numbers of thrips on banker plants. Although barley showed promise as a source of alternative aphids, it did not appear to improve pest control in the adjacent crop.

Brian N. Hogg, Erik H. Nelson, and Kent M. Daane "A comparison of candidate banker plants for management of pests in lettuce," Environmental Entomology 52(3), 379-390, (12 April 2023).
Received: 20 September 2022; Accepted: 22 March 2023; Published: 12 April 2023

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alternative prey
crop diversification
insectary plants
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