Plant PestlRelationships and the Orchard Ecosystem

Tracy C. Leskey

A pest is considered to be an organism in direct competition with humans for a valued resource. Pests have the potential to lower yields and reduce marketability of agricultural products. Five categories of pests can cause economically important damage in orchard ecosystems: arthropods, disease-causing pathogens, nematodes, vertebrates, and weeds. A particular type of damage can be caused by a single organism or by interactions among several organisms such as arthropod- or nematode-vectored diseases. Ultimately, damage in a particular orchard ecosystem is caused by organisms belonging to all categories, leading to economic losses.

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