Spring colonisation of orchards by Anthonomus pomorum from adjacent forest borders

St Toepfer, H. Gu, S. Dorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


The early-season dispersal of the overwintered apple blossom weevil, Anthonomus pomorum (L.) (Colcoptera: Curculionidae), is a crucial stage in the colonisation of dwarf apple orchards adjacent to forests. We have conducted release-recapture studies with 1700 to 4000 marked weevils at two orchard sites in Switzerland over 2 years to characterise the spatial and temporal pattern of the dispersal process. The dispersal and colonisation of orchards in spring by overwintered weevils is dependent upon the prevailing temperature. An orientated dispersal from the forest border to the centre of the orchard was observed consistently, irrespective of the angle of the apple tree rows with respect to the forest border or of climatic conditions. The average dispersal distance of the weevils was 19 m. Approximately one third of the weevil population remained on the first tree encountered, the remainder of the population moved over short distances mainly along the tree rows. This dispersal pattern led to a strong 'edge effect' with higher numbers of weevils occurring at the edges adjoining the forests as compared to the centre of orchards. The relevance of these findings to population dynamics and management of the pest is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1999



  • Anthonomus pomorum
  • Apple blossom weevil
  • Apple orchard
  • Coleoptera
  • Curculionidac
  • Dispersal
  • Mark-release-recapture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

Cite this