Predictive Modeling & Mitigation of Effects of Climate Change on Migration & Infestation Patterns of Semitropical/tropical Crop Pest Insects
Insect Control and Cotton Disease Research Unit
2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Establish a network of pest monitoring and collection sites in the southeastern U.S.
2. Map seasonal migration of S. frugiperda from the FL and TX overwintering areas into the central and eastern U.S.
3. Adapt and test models correlating migration and overwintering ranges with weather patterns to identify areas susceptible to increased infestation due to climate change.
4. Develop control strategies to preempt or mitigate the anticipated expansion of S. frugiperda infestation.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1. Pheromone trapping and larval collections by a network of volunteer and cooperative agents. Monitoring information will be made available on the internet via PestWatch (Penn State).
2. Mapping of migration pathways by a novel haplotype analysis technique.
3. Modeling derived using General Circulation Model output and HYSPLIT atmospheric dispersion model predictions.
4. Mitigation efforts will focus on the adaptation of feeding attractant-based techniques currently being tested on the Noctuid pest Helicoverpa zea for use on S. frugiperda.
The goal of this project is to map seasonal migration of the fall armyworm in the U.S., and to develop new approaches to better manage this pest insect, including control of its seasonal expansion. In FY 2012, cooperators at 24 locations throughout the central U.S. trapped fall armyworm moths weekly. Additionally, fall armyworm trap data was accessed from existing cooperative pest monitoring networks in Missouri, Kentucky, and Quebec Province, Canada. These new cooperators contributed fall armyworm trap data weekly at 74 additional sites in 15 U.S. states and 36 additional sites in two Canadian provinces, which increased the geographic coverage of trap data in the open-access PestWatch database. The weekly trap data is being used to validate model estimates of migratory flights of fall armyworm moths. Fall armyworm larvae were collected from whorl stage corn and silking corn at College Station, Texas, and placed on artificial diet. The larvae were shipped to ARS project collaborators at Gainesville, Florida, for use in establishing a colony of fall armyworms from Texas, and for distinguishing the genetic characteristics of the fall armyworm populations in Texas and Florida. Project scientists are also investigating the amount and composition of pheromone (sex attractant) produced by fall armyworm moths from the Texas and Florida colonies. Work under this project, as it progresses, will provide new insights and direction to development of procedures and protocols for control of this major crop and pasture pest.