Natural Biological Control of Pest Mites in Brazilian Sun Coffee Agroecosystems
Adenir V. Teodoro,
Renato A. Sarmento,
Adriano S. Rego,
Anilde da Graca S. Maciel.
Coffee is one of the leading commodities in tropical America. Although plantations are usually established under a canopy of trees in most producing countries in the region, Brazilian coffee is mostly produced under full sun conditions. Such simple, single-crop agroecosystems with intensive agrochemical inputs often suffer with pests like mites. Predatory mites of the family Phytoseiidae are the main natural enemies associated with pest mites in the field. However, these beneficial arthropods struggle to survive in intensive agroecosystems such as coffee monocultures due to unfavorable microclimatic conditions, widespread pesticide use, and lack of alternative food (pollen, nectar). Conservation biological control uses a range of management strategies to sustain and enhance populations of indigenous natural enemies such as predatory mites. We discuss here conservation biological control as a strategy to improve biological control of pest mites by native predatory mites in Brazilian coffee monocultures as well as some related patents.
Keywords: Broad mite, coffee red spider mite, coffee ringspot mite, pesticide selectivity, predatory mites
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