A five-member team led by postdoctoral researcher Daniel “Dani” Paredes of the Daniel Karp lab, UC Davis Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology (WFCB), analyzed a 13-year government database to assess how the landscapes surrounding 400 Spanish vineyards influenced European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) outbreaks and insecticides application rates.
The article, "Landscape Simplification Increases Vineyard Pest Outbreaks and Insecticide Use," is now online.
“At harvest, we found pest outbreaks increased four-fold in simplified, vineyard-dominated landscapes compared to complex landscapes in which vineyards are surrounded by semi-natural habitats,” said lead author Paredes, who holds a doctorate in environmental sciences (2014) from the University of Granada, Spain. “Overall, our results suggest that simplified landscapes increase vineyard pest outbreaks and escalate insecticide spray frequencies. In contrast, vineyards surrounded by more productive habitats and more shrubland area are less likely to apply insecticides.”
Landscapes around farms are rarely managed to suppress damaging crop pests, partially because researchers rarely measure the key variables that drive farming decisions. This paper, however “shows how using really huge datasets—in this case generated by government employees working with farmers in Spain--can reveal how natural habitats surrounding agriculture can shape pest outbreaks and pesticide use in vineyards,” said co-author Jay Rosenheim, distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
A solution? At an individual level, farmers may better control L. botrana populations through planting native vegetation in and around their farm. Ideally, they would coordinate with each other to maintain and/or restore large patches of productive, shrubland habitats in the surrounding landscape.
Other co-authors are Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Natural Capital Project, Stanford University; and Silvia Winter, Institute of Plant Protection, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria.
Their work was financed by the research project SECBIVIT, or “scenarios for providing multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity in viticultural landscapes,” and a National Science Foundation/USA grant.
Integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, distinguished professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, and plant pathologist Mysore "Sudhi" Sudarshana with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, based at UC Davis, organized the webinar. The event is supported by the Regional IPM centers as part of the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Registration is underway at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/536624718414291457
GRB and the virus associated with it have been confirmed in many major grape production regions of the United States and Canada, said Zalom, the lead author of the newly published Regional Pest Alert on the North Central IPM Center website. Several research teams across North America, Zalom said, “have been intensely characterizing the disease and effects on grapevines, as well as characterizing the virus, its spread and potential management” since the discovery of the virus in 2011.
Zalom cited considerable progress, “but much remains unknown. Speakers representing many of the labs will present their work and what it means for the grape industry.”
“Red leaf symptoms that differed from other known red leaf diseases affecting grape foliage were first noticed in vineyards planted with red wine grape cultivars in Napa County, California, in 2008,” he wrote in the Regional Pest Alert. “A virus now known as Grapevine Red Blotch-associated virus (GRBaV) was subsequently identified in grapevines exhibiting red blotch symptoms in 2011. It is now confirmed that red blotch disease is present in many major grape production regions of the United States and Canada.”
- 10 a.m.: Welcome and Introduction
Frank Zalom, UC Davis
- 10:05: History of red blotch, symptoms and significance
Mysore "Sudhi" Sudarshana, USDA's Agricultural Research Service, USDA-ARS, Davis, Calif.
- 10:20: Etiology of red blotch
Marc Fuchs, Cornell University, Geneva, N.Y.
- 10:35: Detection and genetic diversity of the virus
Keith Perry, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
- 10:50: Effect of red blotch on grapevine performance
Rhonda Smith, UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
- 11:05 Red blotch situation in Oregon
Vaughn Walton, Oregon State University and Bob Martin, USDA-ARS, Corvallis, Ore.
- 11:20: Red blotch and the virus in Canada
S. Poojari, T. Lowery, A-M. Schmidt, M. Rott, W. Mcfadden-Smith, L. Stobbs, and J.R. Urbez-Torres, Agri-Canada
- 11:35: Red blotch and the virus in Europe
Jean-Sebastian Reynard, Agroscope, Switzerland
- 11:50: Virus spread, disease gradient, and insects
Brian Bahder, Frank Zalom lab, UC Davis
- 12:05: Foundation Plant Services (FPS) and National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) protecting the supply chain of grapevines from red blotch
Deborah Golino, FPS, UC Davis
- 12:20: Questions and answers
Moderated by Frank Zalom
- Regional Pest Alert on Grapevine Red Blotch-associated virus (PDF on North Central IPM Website)
- Link to Webinar registration: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/536624718414291457
- Biosketches on speakers: http://www.ipmcenters.org/index.cfm/center-products/ipm-eacademy/upcoming-events/red-blotch-speakers/
Preto, a former foster care youth, is an incredible success story who hurdled the obstacles heaved in her path and lets nothing—absolutely nothing--block her education, enthusiasm, research or goals.
She turned a disadvantaged childhood into a college diploma, and a college diploma into graduate school.
“I'm the first in my family to graduate from college and to attend graduate school,” said Preto, who calls Los Angeles “home.”
In June, UC Davis awarded her a bachelor's degree in viticulture and enology with an entomology minor in agricultural pest management. Now she's studying for her master's degree in entomology with major professor and integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom, distinguished professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.
“I first met Cindy in my Entomology 110 class, Arthropod Pest Management,” Zalom recalled. “She was usually the last student to leave the diagnostic labs each week, and one time she apologized to me for staying so long. She said that she had been out of school and working for a while so she wanted to get the most out of her classes.”
“She was a viticulture and enology major,” Zalom said. “We discussed having her do an undergrad research project on grapes, so she applied for and received a MURALS (Mentorship for Undergraduate Research in Agriculture, Letters and Science) scholarship which allowed her to conduct a project in my lab.”
Her project? The development of the invasive European grapevine moth. Preto conducted her research in the Contained Research Facility on campus with co-advisors Spencer Walse and Dave Bellamy of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. Like Zalom, they praised her “excellent work ethic and enthusiasm.”
On Saturday, Sept. 27 Preto will represent the Zalom lab at the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house on “How To Be an Entomologist” from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.” She'll show visitors what leafhoppers and parasitized eggs look like.
“I am currently doing a biological survey of Virginia Creeper leafhopper in vineyards, looking at the population dynamics of all life stages, egg, nymphs, and adults,” Preto said.
The Virginia Creeper is one of three leafhoppers that she's studying in her population dynamics research. The others are the Western grape leafhopper and the Variegated leafhopper. They're all about the same size: 2 millimeters. In rearing eggs from nymphs to adults, she knows the distinguishing characteristics of each.
Zalom admires her enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism. “I was not seeking another grad student, but I couldn't help but accept Cindy into my lab when she decided that she would like to pursue a master's degree,” Zalom recalled. “Her project on leafhoppers associated with grapes fits her goals of working again in the grape industry when she completes her degree. Her enthusiasm for learning hasn't changed, and her research has been proceeding very well.”
Indeed it has. She's also drawing widespread attention as a scholar. She received a Peter J. Shields Scholarship in September 2011; a Wine Spectator scholarship in September 2012; the MURALS research scholarship in November 2012; a Syngenta Scholarship, June 2013; a Wine Spectator Scholarship in October 2013; and an Orange County Wine Society Scholarship in October 2013.
Preto also participates in the new UC Davis program, Guardian Professions Program or GPP, which is open to Masters/Ph.D students who are former foster care youth. And, she continues to participate in the Guardian Scholars Program or GSP, open to all UC Davis students who were cared for in foster homes. GSP students offer support for one another and also to current and former foster care youth in local high schools and community colleges by offering UC Davis campus tours, outreach, interactive activities, and speaking on panels to share their story in hopes of encouraging former foster care youth to seek higher education.
A world traveler, she has journeyed to all seven continents, all 50 states, and to 59 countries. "It can be inexpensive," she said. Along the way, she's taken scores of images of insects.
Preto takes a multi-disciplinary approach to not only her research but life in general, eager to know, learn and share. She figuratively skips to work, excitedly looking forward to new entomological finds. She's recorded and photographed not only leafhoppers, but assassin bugs, minute pirate bugs, stink bugs, lace bugs, mites, thrips, damselflies, dragonflies, moths, bees, wasps, spiders (jumping spiders and black widows), whiteflies and praying mantids.
When Preto is not out in the field monitoring insects, you'll usually find her reading about them or studying them in the lab—weekends included. “It's extremely fascinating,” she said.
Her career goal? To work for a vineyard in a pest and disease management position, preferably in an organic grape or sustainable vineyard. Another goal: to receive her Pest Control Adviser license.
“I love it,” she said.