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Abstract

Date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, is a monocotyledonous species belonging to the palm family (Arecaceae or Palmae) which is perennial and dioecious and cultivated mostly in the arid regions of the world. Date palm is important to the agrarian economy of several countries, with the ability to withstand severe abiotic stresses prevalent in the world’s arid regions, including hot and dry climatic conditions, water stress and salinity. A recent report on the arthropod fauna of date palm lists 112 species of insects and mites associated with it worldwide, including 22 species attacking stored dates. In several date producing countries, the monoculture type of date palm cultivation, climate change, unrestrained use of chemical insecticides and extensive international trade is likely to impact the pest complex and its natural enemies in the date agroecosystems. Considering the significance of date palm, we summarize the biology and sustainable management of major insect and mite pests addressing related challenges and future research areas. The emerging role of semiochemicals in date palm IPM is described including new strategies in mating disruption, “attract-and-kill” and “push-pull” technologies. Also phytoplasma diseases and their insect vectors are discussed, besides innovative methods for managing storage pests of dates.

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Correspondence to Waqas Wakil .

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Wakil, W., Faleiro, J.R., Miller, T.A., Bedford, G.O., Krueger, R.R. (2015). Date Palm Production and Pest Management Challenges. In: Wakil, W., Romeno Faleiro, J., Miller, T. (eds) Sustainable Pest Management in Date Palm: Current Status and Emerging Challenges. Sustainability in Plant and Crop Protection. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24397-9_1

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