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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Insect Ecology and Sustainable Systems for Insect Pest Management in the Southeastern Region

Location: Crop Protection and Management Research

Title: Effects on stink bugs of field edges adjacent to woodland

Authors
item OLSON, DAWN
item Ruberson, John -
item Andow, Dave -

Submitted to: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2012
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Citation: Olson, D.M., Ruberson, J.R., Andow, D.A. 2012. Effects on stink bugs of field edges adjacent to woodland. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 156:94-98.

Interpretive Summary: A variety of patterns of species response to habitat edges have been observed in nature, including higher densities at edges, no differences between edge and interior densities, and lower densities at the edge. Species’ responses to habitat edge have been shown to alter species interactions and spatial patterns within landscapes. Producers face significant losses from highly mobile and polyphagous stink bug species in Bt cotton in the southeastern USA. In this study we investigate stink bug response to edges of major crops grown in the area when adjacent to woodland, a dominant component of the landscape in the region, to help quantify how population processes are mediated by the presence or nature of edge effects. We found that most often a random distribution of stink bugs with respect to the woodland edge of all crops examined. The exception occurred mainly in corn fields; more stink bugs were found at the crop edge when flowering alternative hosts were present in the woodland edges. We show that in 49 fields of four major crops grown in this area, that the woodland edge is not a major source from which stink bugs colonize these crops. These results suggest that control measures should not be concentrated at the field edges adjacent to woodlands.

Technical Abstract: Producers face significant crop losses from stink bug species in the southeastern USA, but the high mobility and polyphagy of the bugs make predictions of their presence in crops difficult. While there is some evidence that they colonize crops from adjacent crops, there are no studies of their colonization from woodland, a common feature of the landscape in the region. We examined stink bug responses to crop edges of 30 fields of corn, peanut, cotton and soybean adjacent to woodland over 2 years. A 4.5 m section of the crop row was sampled 20 times in 2009 and 15 times in 2010 along two 101-m transects in each crop field running perpendicular to the woodland edge with the first sample located 1 m from the crop edge that interfaces with the wooded area. We demarcated distances into along the transects =31 m and > 31 m from the edge for statistical purposes and found most often a random distribution of stink bugs with respect to the woodland edge of all crops examined. The exception occurred mainly in corn fields; more stink bugs were found at the crop edge when flowering alternative hosts were present in the woodland edges. We show that in 49 fields of four major crops grown in this area, that the woodland edge is not a major source from which stink bugs colonize these crops. These results suggest that control measures should not be concentrated at the field edges adjacent to woodlands.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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