University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Gardens at Risk: Fighting Plant Pests and Diseases

LEVEL I - Introductory Level


DEPARTMENT Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences

DESCRIPTION The Unit will introduce participants to the principal plant pests and diseases met with in Maltese gardens and the methods of controlling them. Information relevant to insects pests, plant parasitic nematodes, pathogenic fungi and fungal-like organisms, viral and bacterial diseases of plants will be provided with special reference to those found in Maltese gardens. Emphasis will be placed on the organic approach with minimal use of agrochemicals for the control of such pests and diseases. EU and local legislation on plant protection products insofar as applied to amateur gardening will also be covered. Health and safety issues will also be covered.

The Unit content will be conveyed through illustrated lectures, practical sessions and field visits.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Broadly identify the groups of insect pests of garden plants and trees in Malta;
- Broadly identify symptoms of plant parasitic nematodes, funagal, bacterial and viral diseases present in garden plants and trees in Malta;
- Understand the different types of damage caused by insects in gardens;
- Identify the most appropriate means of control with minimal use of dangerous and ecologically harmful pesticides;
- Comprehend the basics of EU and Maltese legislation concerning pesticide usage.

2. Skills:

By the end of the Unit the student will be able to:
- Identify, deal with and control pest problems in a garden environment;
- Identify the most appropriate means of control with minimal use of dangerous and ecologically harmful pesticides;
- Take appropriate measures to ensure that health and safety aspects for themselves and others.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Agrios, G.N. (2005) Plant Pathology. Fifth Edition. Elsevier Academic Press. 922 pp.
- Brooks, F.E. (2001) Plant Disease Manual for semiarid and Mediterranean-type climates. Malta University Press. 223 pp.
- Dent, D. (1991) Insect Pest Managment. CAB International. 604 pp.
- Jervis, M. & Kidd, N. [eds.] (1996) Insect natural enemies – practical approaches to their study and evaluation. Chapman & Hall. 491 pp.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Practical and Fieldwork

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S David Dandria
David Mifsud (Co-ord.)

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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