Density and growth rates of spider mites in relation to phenological stages of soybean cultivars in Brazil
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The population fluctuations of spider mites on different soybean cultivars were studied in two experiments performed in the municipalities of São Sepé (experiment 1) and Santa Maria (experiment 2) in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The number of cultivars was 20 in São Sepé and 25 in Santa Maria, and at each location leaves were sampled from 15 plants per cultivar every week throughout the entire plant developmental cycle, amounting to 11 and 10 samplings in experiment 1 and 2, respectively. The statistical analysis revealed that mite densities varied significantly with cultivar and time. Besides, the interaction between soybean cultivars and sampling times was significant at both locations. This indicates that the populations did not vary in the same way among cultivars over time, which is attributed to differences among the cultivars with respect to their phenology and response to spider mites. Equations for describing the mite population dynamics were estimated for each cultivar, mostly by fitting cubic equations to the weekly growth rates (per capita changes) in mite densities. We also found that the highest growth rates for mites on soybean cultivars in both locations occurred after the beginning of flowering, when the plants shifted from the vegetative to reproductive stages, about 3 weeks before reaching the peak densities.
KeywordsIPM Population peak Sampling procedure Tetranychidae
We thank the Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education – Capes, for giving financial support to JAA, and L. Burtet, L. Stefanelo, R.F. Stacke, B. Tomazi and A. Fiorentini for field and laboratory assistance.
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