The overwintering sites and seasonal abundance of phytoseiid mites were determined in North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree plantations. Potential overwintering sites for the mites include Fraser fir branches, Fraser fir bark, surface litter composed of Fraser fir needles, a mixture of fescue grass (Festuca spp.) and nimblewill (Mhlenbergia schreberi J.F. Gmelin.), mixed herbaceous debris from the previous growing season, and a monocultural cover crop of white clover (Trifolium repens L.). Twelve species of mites (n = 414) in the family Phytoseiidae were collected. Arrenoseius morgani (Chant) (n = 160), Typhlodromips sessor (DeLeon) (n = 156), and Typhlodromalus peregrinus (Muma) (n = 34) were the most abundant. During the spring and summer Fraser fir plantations with a ground cover consisting of white clover were compared with plantations with bare ground to assess the abundance and species composition of phytoseiid mites. A total of 512 phytoseiids representing 8 species was collected. Phytoseiid mite abundance was not significantly different between clover ground cover and bare ground plantations. Typhlodromips sessor (DeLeon), Typhlodromalus peregrinus (Muma), and Arrenoseius morgani (Chant) were the most abundant species in both plantation types.
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