Testing the Efficacy of Barrier Plantings for Limiting Sharpshooter Spread
Barrier plantings have been used successfully in the management of plant diseases. Their effectiveness at limiting the incursion of the blue-green sharpshooter (Graphocephala atropunctata), an important vector of the pathogen Xylella fastidiosa, into vineyards was evaluated. Four barrier treatments (three tree species plots and one open control plot) were established and sharpshooters were monitored regularly over eight years. Barriers had intermittent effects, with significantly lower abundance of sharpshooters adjacent to tree plots in one year and significantly lower trapping frequency in three of the eight years. This inconsistency suggests that, on their own, barriers are likely to be an incomplete strategy for limiting pathogen spread into vineyards.