|Authors: ||D. Ben-Yakir, A. Fereres|
|Keywords: ||UVA, UVB, arthropod pests, beneficial arthropods, UV blocking, UV reflection, induction of stress|
Insects and mites use optical cues for finding host plants and for orientation during flight.
These arthropods often use UV radiation as the cue for taking-off and for orientation.
Growing crop plants without UV often leads to low pest infestation, slow dispersal of pests and low incidences of insect borne diseases.
Therefore, covering crops with plastics or screens containing UV-blocking additives provides protection from pests and diseases compared to standard cladding materials.
The attraction of insects to host plants and to monitoring traps is enhanced by moderate UV reflection.
In contrast, high UV reflection (over 25%) acts as a deterrent for most arthropods.
Direct exposure of arthropods to UV often elicits stress responses and it is damaging or lethal to some life stages.
Therefore, direct exposure of arthropods to UV often induces an avoidance behavior and this is why they often reside on the abaxial side of leaves or inside plant apices as a means to avoid solar UV. Solar UV often elicits stress response in host plants, which indirectly may reduce infestation by certain arthropod pests.
Jasmonate signaling plays a central role in the mechanisms by which solar UV increases resistance to insect herbivores in the field.
Thus, UV radiation affects agroecosystems by complex interactions between several trophic levels.
A summary of recent publications is presented and discussed.
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