How do essential factors of climate change affect the interactions between pests and their host plants? Implications for future pest control in pomicultire and viticulture (KlimaKom)
Project start: 15.08.2018 Project end: 14.10.2021 Sponsor: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Will mating disruption be an effective method to control the European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) in the future or will it be hindered by elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations? L. botrana, the major pest insect in vineyards, is currently well-controlled in Germany, resulting in a massive decrease of applied insecticides. Yet, it is unclear if this success will persist in a changing climate.
Male European grapevine moths find females in the vineyard by following the trace of sex pheromones they emit. In order to prevent successful location of females, artificial pheromones are dispensed all over the vineyard, concealing the real traces (mating disruption method) and hence reducing the number of mating events. Elevated CO2 concentrations can affect insect physiology. We therefore study if (1) the composition of female sex pheromones and/or (2) the perception of these pheromones by males as well as their behavior changes under future CO2 concentrations.
“KlimaKom” is a joint research project of the Applied Chemical Ecology lab at the Julius Kühn Institute and the Department of Crop Protection at the HGU, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Using the vineyard Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE) facility in Geisenheim as well as the wind tunnels and gas chromatography-electroantennography equipment in Dossenheim, we are combining field and laboratory experiments. Additionally, we are studying the impact of elevated atmospheric ozone concentrations.