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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Influence of Temperature, Humidity, and Plant Terpenoid Profiles on Life History Characteristics of Boreioglycaspis melaleucae (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), a Biological Control Agent of the Invasive Tree Melaleuca quinquenervia

Authors
item Chiarelli, Robyn -
item Pratt, Paul
item Silvers, Cressida -
item Blackwood, Scott -
item Center, Ted

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2011
Publication Date: February 15, 2011
Citation: Chiarelli, R., Pratt, P.D., Silvers, C., Blackwood, S., Center, T.D. 2011. Influence of Temperature, Humidity, and Plant Terpenoid Profiles on Life History Characteristics of Boreioglycaspis melaleucae (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), a Biological Control Agent of the Invasive Tree Melaleuca quinquenervia. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 104(3):488-497.

Interpretive Summary: Although the introduced weed biological control agent Boreioglycaspis melaleucae Moore is widely established among stands of its host Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake (Myrtaceae) in south Florida, it’s population densities decline markedly during summer months. We investigated the hypothesis that environmental variables explain this variation in B. melaleucae population dynamics by quantifying life history characteristics of adults, eggs, and nymphs when held at 8 constant temperatures, 4 relative humidities, and on plants that differed in foliar terpenoid profiles. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that terpenoid profiles or humidity explain the seasonal variation in B. melaleucae densities. Although longevity of adult psyllids is greater on E-nerolidol versus viridifloral profiles, this does not translate to a longer ovipositional period or increased fecundity. Similarly, humidity treatments had a limited and inconsistent effect on B. melaleucae development rates and nymphal survivorship. In contrast, developmental rates increased linearly with increasing temperature to an optimum 25°C, while greater temperatures caused total developmental rates to decrease. Temperature also affected nymphal survivorship, with no individuals completing development above 30°C. Mean maximum daily temperatures in southern Florida commonly exceeded 30°C, with maximum temperatures ranging from 30 to 35°C (in Broward Co.) during 138 days in 2006. Therefore, we conclude that lethal upper temperature thresholds limit population growth rates during summer months and explain, in part, why populations of this introduced insect vary seasonally.

Technical Abstract: Although the introduced weed biological control agent Boreioglycaspis melaleucae Moore is widely established among stands of its host Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) Blake (Myrtaceae) in south Florida, it’s population densities decline markedly during summer months. We investigated the hypothesis that environmental variables explain this variation in B. melaleucae population dynamics by quantifying life history characteristics of adults, eggs, and nymphs when held at 8 constant temperatures, 4 relative humidities, and on plants that differed in foliar terpenoid profiles. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that terpenoid profiles or humidity explain the seasonal variation in B. melaleucae densities. Although longevity of adult psyllids is greater on E-nerolidol versus viridifloral profiles, this does not translate to a longer ovipositional period or increased fecundity. Similarly, humidity treatments had a limited and inconsistent effect on B. melaleucae development rates and nymphal survivorship. In contrast, developmental rates increased linearly with increasing temperature to an optimum 25°C, while greater temperatures caused total developmental rates to decrease. Temperature also affected nymphal survivorship, with no individuals completing development above 30°C. Mean maximum daily temperatures in southern Florida commonly exceeded 30°C, with maximum temperatures ranging from 30 to 35°C (in Broward Co.) during 138 days in 2006. Therefore, we conclude that lethal upper temperature thresholds limit population growth rates during summer months and explain, in part, why populations of this introduced insect vary seasonally.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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