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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #441179

Research Project: Ecology and Integrated Management of Ambrosia Beetles in Eastern US Orchard and Ornamental Tree Crops

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-047-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2021
End Date: Aug 31, 2025

The overall goal is to implement sustainable management practices for ambrosia beetles and understand the insect pest’s biology. Specific objectives are: 1: Predict risk of ambrosia beetle infestations in high value orchard and nursery crop systems through improved understanding of beetle biology and ecology. 2: Develop novel tools to enhance the accuracy and precision of host and beetle monitoring strategies for improved management of ambrosia beetles. 3: Development of comprehensive management strategies for ambrosia beetles. 4: Determine the economics of ambrosia beetle damage and control interventions on orchard and ornamental tree crop stakeholders. 5. Extend and transfer research-based information developed by this project to stakeholders.

The research described in the full proposal will be conducted by ARS and collaborators in experimental and commercial grower research plots in multiple states in the eastern, midwestern, and southern US. Research conducted by ARS will be conducted at commercial nurseries and tree fruit orchards in Ohio, as well as university field sites in Ohio. ARS will address objectives 1, 2 and 3. Activities will include: (1) investigate abiotic and biotic plant stress-related factors that increase or decrease ambrosia beetle attacks; (2) determine spatial and temporal attack patterns of key ambrosia beetle species within agro-ecosystems and relate attack distribution patterns to landscape level factors (e.g., slope, elevation, soil type, drainage, diversity of flora in adjacent habitats); (3) evaluate different traps and lure formulations for species-specific monitoring and investigate relationships between trap captures and ambrosia beetle attacks; (4) identify and develop novel practical tools and technologies to monitor tree ethanol production in orchard and nursery crop systems; (5) test new and current synthetic insecticides, repellents, and attractants, for protecting trees from attack. Laboratory and field experiments will be conducted using colony-reared and wild-caught beetles using container- grown trees and in-ground trees. Replicated experiments will be conducted using appropriate controls to ensure the data can be compared statistically.