Economic injury level (EIL) and economic threshold (ET) were established for Aulacorthum solani (Kaltenbach) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in greenhouse pepper, Capsicum annuum L. The high toxicity of the salivary secretion of A. solani produces deformation and decoloration of leaves, complete plant defoliation, and unmarketable deformed fruits at high densities. Low, high and null infestation rate treatments provided a broad range of population densities to determine the relationship between yield and the cumulative A. solani-days (CAD). In all infested compartments, A. solani reached a very high population density that eventually produced the complete defoliation of the plants and losses in total and marketable yield. At low A. solani density, pepper plants showed a tolerance response. Generalized Additive Models (GAM) and Gompertz equation were used to determine the relationship between yield and CAD. Both models explained a high proportion of the variance and described well the relationship between the two variables. However, GAM predicted the tolerance phase of the yield–CAD relationship more satisfactorily. The theoretical damage curve predicted by GAM describes a tolerance, compensation and a linearity part. EIL was estimated at 57 CAD. ET was established at 20 CAD to prevent aphid density from reaching EIL within the gap between sampling periods.
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Vol. 100 • No. 1