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The plume also rises: trajectories of pheromone plumes issuing from point sources in an orchard canopy at night

Girling, R., Higbee, B. S. and Cardé, R. T. (2013) The plume also rises: trajectories of pheromone plumes issuing from point sources in an orchard canopy at night. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 39 (9). pp. 1150-1160. ISSN 0098-0331

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10886-013-0341-9


The trajectories of pheromone plumes in canopied habitats, such as orchards, have been little studied. We documented the capture of male navel orangeworm moths, Amyelois transitella, in female-baited traps positioned at 5 levels, from ground level to the canopy top, at approximately 6 m above ground, in almond orchards. Males were captured in similar proportions at all levels, suggesting that they do not favor a particular height during ranging flight. A 3-D sonic anemometer was used to establish patterns of wind flow and temperature at 6 heights from 2.08 to 6.65 m in an almond orchard with a 5 m high canopy, every 3 h over 72 h. The horizontal velocity of wind flow was highest above the canopy, where its directionality also was the most consistent. During the time of A. transitella mating (0300–0600), there was a net vertical displacement upward. Vertical buoyancy combined with only minor reductions in the distance that plumes will travel in the lower compared to the upper canopy suggest that the optimal height for release of pheromone from high-release-rate sources, such as aerosol dispensers (“puffers”), that are deployed at low densities (e.g., 3 per ha.) would be at mid or low in the canopy, thereby facilitating dispersion of disruptant throughout the canopy. Optimal placement of aerosol dispensers will vary with the behavioral ecology of the target pest; however, our results suggest that current protocols, which generally propose dispenser placement in the upper third of the canopy, should be reevaluated.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:39617
Publisher:Springer Verlag

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