The green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), is an insect pest that causes extensive damage to tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) in China. Field trials were conducted in 2008 and 2009 at Longyan in the Fujian Province (China) to evaluate the effects of garlic (Allium sativum L.) as a deterrent to green peach aphids and other arthropods when intercropped in flue-cured tobacco fields. This study demonstrated that green peach aphids were affected by intercropping garlic in tobacco fields during the 2 yr studied. The appearance of green peach aphids in intercropped tobacco fields was delayed for approximately 7 d by the presence of garlic. Aphid abundance was reduced by 100% in intercropped fields compared with monocultures, especially when populations peaked (34.7-39.0% in 2008 and 42.0-47.2% in 2009). Other arthropod populations were not negatively affected by intercropping garlic. Species richness, diversity, and stability of the arthropod communities increased and the dominance concentration index decreased in the intercropped garlic fields. The tobacco mosaic viruses (cucumber mosaic virus, potato virus Y, tobacco etch virus, and tobacco ring-spot virus) transmitted by green peach aphids were decreased by 9.6 to 42.4% in 2008 and by 22.1 to 27.9% in 2009 by intercropping garlic in flue-cured tobacco fields. The net benefits of cropping flue-cured tobacco were also increased by 52.1 to 80.2% by intercropping garlic in the tobacco fields. Therefore, intercropping tobacco with garlic may be useful in deterring green peach aphids and in stabilizing arthropod communities in tobacco.
- agricultural diversification