Direct effects of artificial lighting on arthropods and integrated pest management in greenhouse crops

May 8, 2012 in NuAgri Educational Resources


Novel lighting technology offers the possibility of improved arthropod integrated pest management (IPM) in artificially lighted crops. This review compiles the current knowledge on how greenhouse pest and beneficial arthropods are directly affected by light, with the focus on whiteflies. The effect of ultraviolet depletion on orientation and colour-coded phototaxis are to some extent studied and utilised for control of the flying adult stage of some pest species, but far less is known about the visual ecology of commercially used biological control agents and pollinators, and about how light affects arthropod biology in different life stages. Four approaches for utilisation of artificial light in IPM of whiteflies are suggested: (a) use of attractive visual stimuli incorporated into traps for monitoring and direct control, (b) use of visual stimuli that disrupt the host-detection process, (c) radiation with harmful or inhibitory wavelengths to kill or suppress pest populations and (d) use of time cues to manipulate daily rhythms and photoperiodic responses. Knowledge gaps are identified to design a road map for research on IPM in crops lighted with high-pressure sodium lamps, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photoselective films. LEDs are concluded to offer possibilities for behavioural manipulation of arthropods, but the extent of such possibilities depends in practice on which wavelength combinations are determined to be optimal for plant production. Furthermore, the direct effects of artificial lighting on IPM must be studied in the context of plant-mediated effects of artificial light on arthropods, as both types of manipulations are possible, particularly with LEDs.

Authors: (N.S. Johansen, I. Va¨nninen, D.M. Pinto, A.I. Nissinen & L. Shipp)

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