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Factors determining the pest status of the bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalo-siphum padi (L.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), in Europe: a study and review

  • S. R Leather (a1), K. F. A Walters (a1) and A. F. G Dixon (a1)

The biology and pest status of Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) in Europe are critically reviewed. New data are presented and the temporal occurrence of the aphid and its host-plants considered. In Britain, R. padi is a pest mainly because of its ability to transmit virus diseases, in particular barley yellow dwarf virus. In other European countries, especially in Scandinavia, R. padi is a pest in its own right. Predator and parasite complexes in Britain and Finland are compared and contrasted. The occurrence of R. padi as a pest of cereals in Europe is compared with that of Sitobion avenae (F.) and Metopolophium dirhodum (Walker). It is postulated that the great abundance of the primary host of R. padi, bird cherry (Prunus padus), and the spring planting of cereals in colder climates such as in Finland are major factors contributing to the differences in pest status of this aphid between Britain and in Scandinavia.

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