Effect of six sanitation treatments on leaf litter density, ascospore production of Venturia inaequalis and scab incidence in integrated and organic apple orchards

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Abstract

A two-year study was conducted to determine the effect of six sanitation treatments on leaf litter density (LLD), relative ascospore production of Venturia inaequalis and scab incidence on spur-leaf clusters, leaves and harvested fruits, on two cultivars with low and high scab susceptibilities, in Hungarian integrated and organic apple orchards. The following sanitation treatments were used: sprays of lime sulphur in autumn, collecting fallen leaves in autumn, straw mulch cover in late winter, sprays of lime sulphur followed by mulch cover, collecting fallen leaves followed by mulch cover, collecting fallen leaves followed by covering the orchard floor with plastic foil, and non-sanitized control. LLD decreased continuously in all treatment plots by 0-23% by mid-May in both orchards and years; however, LLD reduction was 1.4-4.2 times higher in the organic orchard compared to the integrated one. All treatments, except for the lime sulphur treatment, resulted in significant (P < 0.05) reduction of LLD and ascospore production in both the integrated and organic apple orchards compared to non-sanitized plots. The most efficient treatment was leaf collection combined with plastic foil cover, followed by leaf collection combined with mulch cover, leaf collection alone, mulch cover alone, and lime sulphur spray combined with mulch cover, with a reduction in the ascospore production of >95, 72-92, 56-79, 24-38, and 27-46%, respectively, in the mean of both orchards and years. However, only treatments of leaf collection applied alone, or in combination with mulch or with plastic foil cover reduced significantly (P < 0.05) leaf and/or fruit scab incidence by 18-57% compared to non-sanitized plots. These three leaf collection treatments are recommended in both integrated and organic orchards and the possibilities of successfully incorporating these methods into orchard management practices are interpreted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Volume115
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2006

Keywords

  • Apple scab
  • Disease management
  • Epidemiology
  • Leaf collection
  • Lime sulphur
  • Malus x domestica
  • Mulch cover
  • Potential ascospore dose
  • Pruning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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