ResearchPad - orchards https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[A biological control model to manage the vector and the infection of <i>Xylella fastidiosa</i> on olive trees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11237 Xylella fastidiosa pauca ST53 is the bacterium responsible for the Olive Quick Decline Syndrome that has killed millions of olive trees in Southern Italy. A recent work demonstrates that a rational integration of vector and transmission control measures, into a strategy based on chemical and physical control means, can manage Xylella fastidiosa invasion and impact below an acceptable economic threshold. In the present study, we propose a biological alternative to the chemical control action, which involves the predetermined use of an available natural enemy of Philaenus spumarius, i.e., Zelus renardii, for adult vector population and infection biocontrol. The paper combines two different approaches: a laboratory experiment to test the predation dynamics of Zelus renardii on Philaenus spumarius and its attitude as candidate for an inundation strategy; a simulated experiment of inundation, to preliminary test the efficacy of such strategy, before eventually proceeding to an in-field experimentation. With this double-fold approach we show that an inundation strategy with Zelus renardii has the potential to furnish an efficient and “green” solution to Xylella fastidiosa invasion, with a reduction of the pathogen incidence below 10%. The biocontrol model presented here could be promising for containing the impact and spread of Xylella fastidiosa, after an in-field validation of the inundation technique. Saving the fruit orchard, the production and the industry in susceptible areas could thus become an attainable goal, within comfortable parameters for sustainability, environmental safety, and effective plant health protection in organic orchard management.

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<![CDATA[Potential role of weather, soil and plant microbial communities in rapid decline of apple trees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89776ed5eed0c4847d2c8c

An unusual decline and collapse of young established trees known as “rapid apple decline” (RAD) has become a major concern for apple growers, particularly in the northeastern United States. This decline is characterized by stunted growth, pale yellow to reddish leaves, and tree collapse within weeks after onset of symptoms. We studied declining apple trees to identify potential involvement of abiotic and biotic stresses. We used 16S and ITS to profile bacterial and fungal communities in the soil, rhizosphere, roots, and shoots and tested for the presence of six viruses in scions and rootstocks of symptomatic and asymptomatic trees. The viruses detected were not associated with RAD symptoms. Bacterial and fungal populations were highly variable in plant tissue, soil and rhizosphere samples, with bacteroidetes, firmicutes, proteobacteria, acidobacteria, and actinobacteria the predominant bacterial classes in various samples. ‘Alphaproteobacteria-rickettsiales’, a bacterial class usually reduced in water-limiting soils, had significantly low abundance in root samples of symptomatic trees. Basidiomycota and Ascomycota fungal classes were the most common fungal classes observed, but neither showed differential enrichment between symptomatic and asymptomatic trees. Analyzing weather data showed an extremely cold winter followed by drought in 2015–2016, which likely weakened the trees to make them more susceptible to varied stresses. In addition, similar physical and nutritional soil composition from symptomatic and asymptomatic trees rules out the role of nutritional stress in RAD. Necrotic lesions and wood decay symptoms dispersing from bark or vascular cambium towards the heartwood were observed primarily below the graft union of declining apple trees, suggesting that the rootstock is the originating point of RAD. We speculate that differences in abiotic factors such as moisture levels in declining roots in combination with extreme weather profiles might cause RAD but cannot clearly rule out the involvement of other factors.

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<![CDATA[A field test on the effectiveness of male annihilation technique against Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) at varying application densities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1939d5eed0c484b4d1d4

Male Annihilation Technique (MAT) is a key tool to suppress or eradicate pestiferous tephritid fruit flies for which there exist powerful male lures. In the case of Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), a highly invasive and destructive species, current implementations of MAT utilize a combination of the male attractant methyl eugenol (ME) and a toxicant such as spinosad (“SPLAT-MAT-ME”) applied at a high density with the goal of attracting and killing an extremely high proportion of males. We conducted direct comparisons of trap captures of marked B. dorsalis males released under three experimental SPLAT-MAT-ME site densities (110, 220, and 440 per km2) near Hilo, Hawaii using both fresh and aged traps to evaluate the effectiveness of varying densities and how weathering of the SPLAT-MAT-ME formulation influenced any density effects observed. Counterintuitively, we observed decreasing effectiveness (percent kill) with increasing application density. We also estimated slightly higher average kill for any given density for weathered grids compared with fresh. Spatial analysis of the recapture patterns of the first trap service per replicate x treatment reveals similar positional effects for all grid densities despite differences in overall percent kill. This study suggests that benefits for control and eradication programs would result from reducing the application density of MAT against B. dorsalis through reduced material use, labor costs, and higher effectiveness. Additional research in areas where MAT programs are currently undertaken would be helpful to corroborate this study’s findings.

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<![CDATA[High-resolution imagery acquired from an unmanned platform to estimate biophysical and geometrical parameters of olive trees under different irrigation regimes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c493d5eed0c4845e895b

The experiments were conducted in a fully-productive olive orchard (cv. Frantoio) at the experimental farm of University of Pisa at Venturina (Italy) in 2015 to assess the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with RGB-NIR cameras to estimate leaf area index (LAI), tree height, canopy diameter and canopy volume of olive trees that were either irrigated or rainfed. Irrigated trees received water 4–5 days a week (1348 m3 ha-1), whereas the rainfed ones received a single irrigation of 19 m3 ha-1 to relieve the extreme stress. The flight altitude was 70 m above ground level (AGL), except for one flight (50 m AGL). The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated by means of the map algebra technique. Canopy volume, canopy height and diameter were obtained from the digital surface model (DSM) obtained through automatic aerial triangulation, bundle block adjustment and camera calibration methods. The NDVI estimated on the day of the year (DOY) 130 was linearly correlated with both LAI and leaf chlorophyll measured on the same date (R2 = 0.78 and 0.80, respectively). The correlation between the on ground measured canopy volumes and the ones by the UAV-RGB camera techniques yielded an R2 of 0.71–0.86. The monthly canopy volume increment estimated from UAV surveys between (DOY) 130 and 244 was highly correlated with the daily water stress integral of rainfed trees (R2 = 0.99). The effect of water stress on the seasonal pattern of canopy growth was detected by these techniques in correspondence of the maximum level of stress experienced by the rainfed trees. The highest level of accuracy (RMSE = 0.16 m) in canopy height estimation was obtained when the flight altitude was 50 m AGL, yielding an R2 value of 0.87 and an almost 1:1 ratio of measured versus estimated canopy height.

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<![CDATA[Pollen flow and paternity in an isolated and non-isolated black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) timber seed orchard]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c102877d5eed0c48424735b

Artificial pollination of black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) is not practical and timber breeders have historically utilized only open-pollinated half-sib families. An alternate approach called “breeding without breeding,” consists of genotyping open-pollinated progeny using DNA markers to identify paternal parents and then constructing full-sib families. In 2014, we used 12 SSR markers to genotype 884 open-pollinated half-sib progeny harvested from two clonal orchards containing 206 trees, comprised of 52 elite timber selections. Seed was harvested in 2011 from each of two ramets of 23 clones, one upwind and one downwind, based on prevailing wind direction from the west—southwest. One orchard was isolated from wild black walnut and composed of forward selections while the other orchard was adjacent to a natural forest containing mature black walnut composed of backward selections. Isolation significantly increased within-orchard pollination (85%) of the progeny from the isolated orchard compared to 42% from the non-isolated orchard. Neither prevailing wind direction nor seed tree position in the orchard affected paternity patterns or wild pollen contamination. Genetic diversity indices revealed that progeny from both orchards were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium with very little inbreeding and no selfing. A significant level of inbreeding was present among the forward selected parents, but not the first generation (backward selected) parents. Some orchard clones failed to sire any progeny while other clones pollinated upwards of 20% of progeny.

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<![CDATA[Estimation of the dispersal distances of an aphid-borne virus in a patchy landscape]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5af106d0463d7e336df9e544

Characterising the spatio-temporal dynamics of pathogens in natura is key to ensuring their efficient prevention and control. However, it is notoriously difficult to estimate dispersal parameters at scales that are relevant to real epidemics. Epidemiological surveys can provide informative data, but parameter estimation can be hampered when the timing of the epidemiological events is uncertain, and in the presence of interactions between disease spread, surveillance, and control. Further complications arise from imperfect detection of disease and from the huge number of data on individual hosts arising from landscape-level surveys. Here, we present a Bayesian framework that overcomes these barriers by integrating over associated uncertainties in a model explicitly combining the processes of disease dispersal, surveillance and control. Using a novel computationally efficient approach to account for patch geometry, we demonstrate that disease dispersal distances can be estimated accurately in a patchy (i.e. fragmented) landscape when disease control is ongoing. Applying this model to data for an aphid-borne virus (Plum pox virus) surveyed for 15 years in 605 orchards, we obtain the first estimate of the distribution of flight distances of infectious aphids at the landscape scale. About 50% of aphid flights terminate beyond 90 m, which implies that most infectious aphids leaving a tree land outside the bounds of a 1-ha orchard. Moreover, long-distance flights are not rare–10% of flights exceed 1 km. By their impact on our quantitative understanding of winged aphid dispersal, these results can inform the design of management strategies for plant viruses, which are mainly aphid-borne.

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<![CDATA[Chirosurveillance: The use of native bats to detect invasive agricultural pests]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc913

Invasive insect pests cost the agricultural industry billions of dollars annually in crop losses. Timely detection of pests is critical for management efficiency. Innovative pest detection strategies, such as environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques, combined with efficient predators, maximize sampling resolution across space and time and may improve surveillance. We tested the hypothesis that temperate insectivorous bats can be important sentinels of agricultural insect pest surveillance. Specifically, we used a new high-sensitivity molecular assay for invasive brown marmorated stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) to examine the extent to which big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) detect agricultural pests in the landscape. We documented consistent seasonal predation of stink bugs by big brown bats. Importantly, bats detected brown marmorated stink bugs 3–4 weeks earlier than the current standard monitoring tool, blacklight traps, across all sites. We highlight here the previously unrecognized potential ecosystem service of bats as agents of pest surveillance (or chirosurveillance). Additional studies examining interactions between other bat and insect pest species, coupled with comparisons of detectability among various conventional monitoring methods, are needed to verify the patterns extracted from this study. Ultimately, robust economic analyses will be needed to assess the cost-effectiveness of chirosurveillance as a standard strategy for integrated pest management.

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<![CDATA[A Landscape View of Agricultural Insecticide Use across the Conterminous US from 1997 through 2012]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa4ab0ee8fa60ba7098

Simplification of agricultural landscapes is expected to have positive effects on many crop pests and negative effects on their natural enemies, potentially leading to increased pest pressure, decreased crop yield, and increased insecticide use. While many intermediate links in this causal chain have empirical support, there is mixed evidence for ultimate relationships between landscape simplification, crop yield, and insecticide use, especially at large spatial and temporal scales. We explored relationships between landscape simplification (proportion of a county in harvested cropland) and insecticide use (proportion of harvested cropland treated with insecticides), using county-level data from the US Census of Agriculture and a variety of standard and spatiotemporal regression techniques. The best model indicated that insecticide use across the US has increased between 1997 and 2012, was strongly dependent on the crops grown in a county, increased with average farm income and size, and increased with annual growing degree days. After accounting for those variables, and other unidentified spatial and temporal structure in the data, there remained a statistically significant, moderate, positive relationship between insecticide use and landscape simplification. These results lend general support to the causal chain outlined above, and to the notion that a landscape perspective is useful for managing ecosystem services that are provided by mobile organisms and valuable to agriculture.

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<![CDATA[Influence of irrigation during the growth stage on yield and quality in mango (Mangifera indica L)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc561

Although being one of the few drought-tolerant plants, mango trees are irrigated to ensure optimum and consistent productivity in China. In order to better understand the effects of soil water content on mango yield and fruit quality at fruit growth stage, irrigation experiments were investigated and the object was to determine the soil water content criteria at which growth and quality of mango would be optimal based on soil water measured by RHD-JS water-saving irrigation system through micro-sprinkling irrigation. Five soil water content treatments (relative to the percentage of field water capacity) for irrigation (T1:79%-82%, T2:75%-78%, T3:71%-74%, T4: 65%-70%, T5:63%-66%) were compared in 2013. Amount of applied irrigation water for different treatments varied from 2.93m3 to 1.08 m3. The results showed that mango fruit production and quality at fruit growth stage were significantly affected under different irrigation water amounts. Variation in soil water content not only had effects on fruit size, but also on fruit yield. The highest fruit yield and irrigation water use efficiency were obtained from the T4 treatment. Irrigation water amount also affected fruit quality parameters like fruit total soluble solids, soluble sugar, starch, titratable acid and vitamin C content. Comprehensive evaluation of the effect of indexs of correlation on irrigation treatment by subordinate function showed that when the soil moisture content were controlled at about 65–70% of the field water moisture capacity, water demand in the growth and development of mango could be ensured, and maximum production efficiency of irrigation and the best quality of fruit could be achieved. In conclusion, treatment T4 was the optimum irrigation schedule for growing mango, thus achieving efficient production of mango in consideration of the compromise among mango yield, fruit quality and water use efficiency.

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<![CDATA[Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Contrast the Diet and Explore Pest-Reduction Services of Sympatric Bird Species in Macadamia Orchards in Australia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db21ab0ee8fa60bcf6bf

Worldwide, avian communities inhabiting agro-ecosystems are threatened as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Unravelling their ecological role is essential to focus conservation efforts. Dietary analysis can elucidate bird-insect interactions and expose avian pest-reduction services, thus supporting avian conservation. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse the dietary arthropod contents of 11 sympatric bird species foraging in macadamia orchards in eastern Australia. Across all species and based on arthropod DNA sequence similarities ≥98% with records in the Barcode of Life Database, 257 operational taxonomy units were assigned to 8 orders, 40 families, 90 genera and 89 species. These taxa included 15 insect pests, 5 of which were macadamia pests. Among the latter group, Nezara viridula (Pentatomidae; green vegetable bug), considered a major pest, was present in 23% of all faecal samples collected. Results also showed that resource partitioning in this system is low, as most bird species shared large proportion of their diets by feeding primarily on lepidopteran, dipteran and arachnids. Dietary composition differed between some species, most likely because of differences in foraging behaviour. Overall, this study reached a level of taxonomic resolution never achieved before in the studied species, thus contributing to a significant improvement in the avian ecological knowledge. Our results showed that bird communities prey upon economically important pests in macadamia orchards. This study set a precedent by exploring avian pest-reduction services using next-generation sequencing, which could contribute to the conservation of avian communities and their natural habitats in agricultural systems.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of efficiency of controlled pollination based parentage analysis in a Larix gmelinii var. principis-rupprechtii Mayr. seed orchard]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf1fc

Controlled pollination (CP) is an important tool for breeding programs to improve seed quality, as it rapidly generates desirable genotypes and maximizes genetic gains. However, few studies have evaluated the success rate of CP, especially in Larix gmelinii var. principis-rupprechtii Mayr. seed orchards. In this study, we estimated the rate of correct parentage in 257 CP progeny in an L. gmelinii var. principis-rupprechtii seed orchard from ten candidate parents using 13 microsatellites. The parentage exclusion probabilities of all combined loci in the single parent and parent pair tests were > 0.99, which was sufficient to distinguish the relatedness of the sampled individuals. Comparing the maximum likelihood-based parentage analysis results with breeding records revealed that the percentages of correctly identified maternal and paternal parents were 22.6% and 35.0% at 95% CL, respectively, suggestive of parent mislabeling and pollen contamination in the CP population. We conducted a pedigree reconstruction by identifying the expected parents and assigned maternity, paternity, and parent pairs to 176 (68.5%), 199 (77.4%), and 132 (51.4%) progeny, respectively. This study provides a reference for future selection of elite genotypes for commercial production. To increase the efficiency of CP, molecular markers should be used to correctly identify individuals in seed orchards before conducting CP.

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<![CDATA[Diel periodicity of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) under field conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdba53

Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), an economically important pest of blueberry and other thin-skinned fruits, persists and prolifically reproduces under seemingly lethal climatic conditions in the field. However, behavioral and physiological mechanisms employed by D. suzukii to tolerate such extreme climatic conditions in the field are unknown. The primary objective of this project was to investigate diel periodicity of D. suzukii and their reproductive success under field conditions as related by climatic factors such as temperature and relative humidity. Results show that D. suzukii reproductive success was significantly higher during the night (including dawn and dusk periods) than the day in terms of oviposition, pupation, adult eclosion, and the number of progeny per female. Female D. suzukii reproductive success was not significantly different between specific regions of a blueberry bush in relation to the amount of shade provided by the canopy. Our studies indicate that D. suzukii flight activity is crepuscular and is sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity. Results also suggest that the majority of fly activity during peak hours is concentrated in areas around the border and within the center of blueberry orchards with little activity in the surrounding wooded areas. These findings suggest that D. suzukii prefers microclimate with mild temperatures and high humidity, and does not function well when exposed to direct sunlight with extreme heat. The authors propose that D. suzukii management strategies should be implemented during the early morning and immediately before darkness to maximize efficacy.

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<![CDATA[Multilocus Variable Number of Tandem Repeat Analysis Reveals Multiple Introductions in Spain of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni, the Causal Agent of Bacterial Spot Disease of Stone Fruits and Almond]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da79ab0ee8fa60b97a59

Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni is the causal agent of the bacterial spot disease of stone fruits, almond and some ornamental Prunus species. In Spain it was first detected in 2002 and since then, several outbreaks have occurred in different regions affecting mainly Japanese plum, peach and almond, both in commercial orchards and nurseries. As the origin of the introduction(s) was unknown, we have assessed the genetic diversity of 239 X. arboricola pv. pruni strains collected from 11 Spanish provinces from 2002 to 2013 and 25 reference strains from international collections. We have developed an optimized multilocus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) scheme targeting 18 microsatellites and five minisatellites. A high discriminatory power was achieved since almost 50% of the Spanish strains were distinguishable, confirming the usefulness of this genotyping technique at small spatio-temporal scales. Spanish strains grouped in 18 genetic clusters (conservatively delineated so that each cluster contained haplotype networks linked by up to quadruple-locus variations). Furthermore, pairwise comparisons among populations from different provinces showed a strong genetic differentiation. Our results suggest multiple introductions of this pathogen in Spain and redistribution through contaminated nursery propagative plant material.

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<![CDATA[New Insights into the Complex Relationship between Weight and Maturity of Burgundy Truffles (Tuber aestivum)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbb42

Despite an increasing demand for Burgundy truffles (Tuber aestivum), gaps remain in our understanding of the fungus’ overall lifecycle and ecology. Here, we compile evidence from three independent surveys in Hungary and Switzerland. First, we measured the weight and maturity of 2,656 T. aestivum fruit bodies from a three-day harvest in August 2014 in a highly productive orchard in Hungary. All specimens ranging between 2 and 755 g were almost evenly distributed through five maturation classes. Then, we measured the weight and maturity of another 4,795 T. aestivum fruit bodies harvested on four occasions between June and October 2015 in the same truffière. Again, different maturation stages occurred at varying fruit body size and during the entire fruiting season. Finally, the predominantly unrelated weight and maturity of 81 T. aestivum fruit bodies from four fruiting seasons between 2010 and 2013 in Switzerland confirmed the Hungarian results. The spatiotemporal coexistence of 7,532 small-ripe and large-unripe T. aestivum, which accumulate to ~182 kg, differs from species-specific associations between the size and ripeness that have been reported for other mushrooms. Although size-independent truffle maturation stages may possibly relate to the perpetual belowground environment, the role of mycelial connectivity, soil property, microclimatology, as well as other abiotic factors and a combination thereof, is still unclear. Despite its massive sample size and proof of concept, this study, together with existing literature, suggests consideration of a wider ecological and biogeographical range, as well as the complex symbiotic fungus-host interaction, to further illuminate the hidden development of belowground truffle fruit bodies.

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<![CDATA[Estimating Vegetation Primary Production in the Heihe River Basin of China with Multi-Source and Multi-Scale Data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daffab0ee8fa60bc6224

Estimating gross primary production (GPP) and net primary production (NPP) are significant important in studying carbon cycles. Using models driven by multi-source and multi-scale data is a promising approach to estimate GPP and NPP at regional and global scales. With a focus on data that are openly accessible, this paper presents a GPP and NPP model driven by remotely sensed data and meteorological data with spatial resolutions varying from 30 m to 0.25 degree and temporal resolutions ranging from 3 hours to 1 month, by integrating remote sensing techniques and eco-physiological process theories. Our model is also designed as part of the Multi-source data Synergized Quantitative (MuSyQ) Remote Sensing Production System. In the presented MuSyQ-NPP algorithm, daily GPP for a 10-day period was calculated as a product of incident photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and its fraction absorbed by vegetation (FPAR) using a light use efficiency (LUE) model. The autotrophic respiration (Ra) was determined using eco-physiological process theories and the daily NPP was obtained as the balance between GPP and Ra. To test its feasibility at regional scales, our model was performed in an arid and semi-arid region of Heihe River Basin, China to generate daily GPP and NPP during the growing season of 2012. The results indicated that both GPP and NPP exhibit clear spatial and temporal patterns in their distribution over Heihe River Basin during the growing season due to the temperature, water and solar influx conditions. After validated against ground-based measurements, MODIS GPP product (MOD17A2H) and results reported in recent literature, we found the MuSyQ-NPP algorithm could yield an RMSE of 2.973 gC m-2 d-1 and an R of 0.842 when compared with ground-based GPP while an RMSE of 8.010 gC m-2 d-1 and an R of 0.682 can be achieved for MODIS GPP, the estimated NPP values were also well within the range of previous literature, which proved the reliability of our modelling results. This research suggested that the utilization of multi-source data with various scales would help to the establishment of an appropriate model for calculating GPP and NPP at regional scales with relatively high spatial and temporal resolution.

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<![CDATA[Attack and Success of Native and Exotic Parasitoids on Eggs of Halyomorpha halys in Three Maryland Habitats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db07ab0ee8fa60bc8daf

Egg parasitoids of the exotic invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), were investigated using lab-reared fresh (live) and frozen (killed) lab-reared sentinel egg masses deployed for 72h on foliage in three habitats—woods, orchard, and soybean field—in Maryland, USA, in summer 2014. Four native hymenopteran species, Telenomus podisi Ashmead (Scelionidae), Trissolcus euschisti (Ashmead) and Tr. brochymenae Ashmead (Scelionidae), and Anastatus reduvii (Howard) (Eupelmidae), developed and emerged from H. halys eggs. One exotic parasitoid, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead), emerged, providing the first known occurrence of this species in North America. Native parasitoids emerged from frozen eggs significantly more often than from fresh eggs (89.3% of egg masses and 98.1% of individual eggs), whereas the exotic Tr. japonicus did not show a similar difference, strongly suggesting adaptation to H. halys as a host by Tr. japonicus but not by the native species. Parasitoids were habitat-specific: all three Trissolcus species were significantly more likely to occur in the woods habitat, whereas Te. podisi was found exclusively in the soybean field. Further investigations are required to elucidate evolving host-parasitoid relationships, habitat specificity, and non-target effects of Tr. japonicus over the expanded range of H. halys in North America.

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<![CDATA[How to Plant Apple Trees to Reduce Replant Disease in Apple Orchard: A Study on the Phenolic Acid of the Replanted Apple Orchard]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab4ab0ee8fa60bac66d

Apple replant disease (ARD) is an important problem in the production of apple. The phenolic acid is one of the causes of ARD. How phenolic acid affects the ARD was not well known. In this study, we analyzed the type, concentration and annual dynamic variation of phenolic acid in soil from three replanted apple orchards using an accelerated solvent extraction system with high performance liquid chromatography (ASE-HPLC). We found that the type and concentration of phenolic acid were significantly differed among different seasons, different sampling positions and different soil layers. Major types of phenolic acid in three replanted apple orchards were phlorizin, benzoic acid and vanillic aldehyde. The concentration of phenolic acid was highest in the soil of the previous tree holes and it was increased from the spring to autumn. Moreover, phenolic acid was primarily distributed in 30–60 cm soil layer in the autumn, while it was most abundant in 0–30 cm soil layer in the spring. Our results suggest that phlorizin, benzoic acid and vanillic aldehyde may be the key phenolic acid that brought about ARD in the replanted apple orchard.

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<![CDATA[Carbon Abatement and Emissions Associated with the Gasification of Walnut Shells for Bioenergy and Biochar Production]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba9470

By converting biomass residue to biochar, we could generate power cleanly and sequester carbon resulting in overall greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) savings when compared to typical fossil fuel usage and waste disposal. We estimated the carbon dioxide (CO2) abatements and emissions associated to the concurrent production of bioenergy and biochar through biomass gasification in an organic walnut farm and processing facility in California, USA. We accounted for (i) avoided-CO2 emissions from displaced grid electricity by bioenergy; (ii) CO2 emissions from farm machinery used for soil amendment of biochar; (iii) CO2 sequestered in the soil through stable biochar-C; and (iv) direct CO2 and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from soil. The objective of these assessments was to pinpoint where the largest C offsets can be expected in the bioenergy-biochar chain. We found that energy production from gasification resulted in 91.8% of total C offsets, followed by stable biochar-C (8.2% of total C sinks), offsetting a total of 107.7 kg CO2-C eq Mg-1 feedstock. At the field scale, we monitored gas fluxes from soils for 29 months (180 individual observations) following field management and precipitation events in addition to weekly measurements within three growing seasons and two tree dormancy periods. We compared four treatments: control, biochar, compost, and biochar combined with compost. Biochar alone or in combination with compost did not alter total N2O and CO2 emissions from soils, indicating that under the conditions of this study, biochar-prompted C offsets may not be expected from the mitigation of direct soil GHG emissions. However, this study revealed a case where a large environmental benefit was given by the waste-to-bioenergy treatment, addressing farm level challenges such as waste management, renewable energy generation, and C sequestration.

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<![CDATA[Fractal features of soil particle size distribution under different land-use patterns in the alluvial fans of collapsing gullies in the hilly granitic region of southern China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbe5f

Collapsing gullies are among the most severe soil erosion problems in the tropical and subtropical areas of southern China. However, few studies have examined the relationship of soil particle size distribution (PSD) changes with land-use patterns in the alluvial fans of collapsing gullies. Recently, the fractal method has been applied to estimate soil structure and has proven to be an effective tool in analyzing soil properties and their relationships with other eco-environmental factors. In this study, the soil fractal dimension (D), physico-chemical properties and their relationship with different land-use patterns in alluvial fans were investigated in an experiment that involved seven collapsing gully areas in seven counties of southern China. Our results demonstrated that different land-use patterns of alluvial fans had a significant effect on soil physico-chemical properties. Compared to grasslands and woodlands, farmlands and orchards generally contained more fine soil particles (silt and clay) and fewer coarse particles, whereas significant differences were found in the fractal dimension of soil PSD in different land-use patterns. Specifically, the soil fractal dimension was lower in grasslands and higher in orchards relative to that of other land-use patterns. The average soil fractal dimension of grasslands had a value that was 0.08 lower than that of orchards. Bulk density was lower but porosity was higher in farmlands and orchards. Saturated moisture content was lower in woodlands and grasslands, but saturated hydraulic conductivity was higher in all four land-use patterns. Additionally, the fractal dimension had significant linear relationships with the silt, clay and sand contents and soil properties and exhibited a positive correlation with the clay (R2 = 0.976, P<0.001), silt (R2 = 0.578, P<0.01), organic carbon (R2 = 0.777, P<0.001) and saturated water (R2 = 0.639, P<0.01) contents but a negative correlation with gravel content (R2 = 0.494, P<0.01), coarse sand content (R2 = 0.623, P<0.01) and saturated hydraulic conductivity (R2 = 0.788, P<0.001). However, the fractal dimension exhibited no significant correlation with pH, bulk density or total porosity. Furthermore, the second-degree polynomial equation was found to be more adequate for describing the correlations between soil fractal dimension and particle size distribution. The results of this study demonstrate that a fractal dimension analysis of soil particle size distribution is a useful method for the quantitative description of different land-use patterns in the alluvial fans of collapsing gullies in southern China.

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<![CDATA[Apple Pollination: Demand Depends on Variety and Supply Depends on Pollinator Identity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da35ab0ee8fa60b85f46

Insect pollination underpins apple production but the extent to which different pollinator guilds supply this service, particularly across different apple varieties, is unknown. Such information is essential if appropriate orchard management practices are to be targeted and proportional to the potential benefits pollinator species may provide. Here we use a novel combination of pollinator effectiveness assays (floral visit effectiveness), orchard field surveys (flower visitation rate) and pollinator dependence manipulations (pollinator exclusion experiments) to quantify the supply of pollination services provided by four different pollinator guilds to the production of four commercial varieties of apple. We show that not all pollinators are equally effective at pollinating apples, with hoverflies being less effective than solitary bees and bumblebees, and the relative abundance of different pollinator guilds visiting apple flowers of different varieties varies significantly. Based on this, the taxa specific economic benefits to UK apple production have been established. The contribution of insect pollinators to the economic output in all varieties was estimated to be £92.1M across the UK, with contributions varying widely across taxa: solitary bees (£51.4M), honeybees (£21.4M), bumblebees (£18.6M) and hoverflies (£0.7M). This research highlights the differences in the economic benefits of four insect pollinator guilds to four major apple varieties in the UK. This information is essential to underpin appropriate investment in pollination services management and provides a model that can be used in other entomolophilous crops to improve our understanding of crop pollination ecology.

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