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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

The influence of pruning on wasp inhabitants of galls induced by Hemadas nubilipennis Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) on lowbush blueberry.

The efficacy of pruning methods for managing blueberry stem galls caused by the chalcid wasp, Hemadas nubilipennis (Ashmead), was studied in five commercial lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton) fields in Nova Scotia, Canada, between October 1999 and May 2000. Blueberry fields were mowed in the fall, and burning treatments were subsequently applied either in the fall or the spring. Three treatments were compared: mowing only, mowing plus fall burning, and mowing plus spring burning. Galls collected from the mow plus spring-burn treatment had the least wasp emergence of the three treatments, while the total number of galls was not affected by treatment. Wasp mortality, not gall destruction, is why wasp emergence is reduced in burn treatments. More galls were located and, for the burn treatments, higher wasp emergence was seen from galls found within the leaf litter than those above it. Five co-inhabitants emerged from blueberry stem galls in this study. Three, Eurytoma solenozopheriae (Ashmead), Sycophila vacciniicola (Balduf), and Orymus vacciniicola (Ashmead) are commonly found associates. The other two, Eupelmus vesicularis (Ritzius) and Pteromalus spp., are new records for Nova Scotia. O. vacciniicola is likely an inquiline because it is the largest wasp emerging from galls, and there was a positive relationship between its emergence and that of H. nubilipennis. Larger gall size improved H. nubilipennis emergence from mow and spring-burn galls. After a field has been mowed in the fall, we recommend a spring burn to reduce gall populations and the threat of product contamination.[1]

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