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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #441245

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

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-053-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

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

Cooperator will conduct research to address the following objectives: 1) Predict the risk of infestations in orchard and nursery crop systems through improved understanding of ambrosia beetle (AB) biology and ecology, 2) Develop novel tools to enhance the accuracy and precision of AB infestation and monitoring tactics, 3) Implement comprehensive management strategies, 4) Transfer research-based information to stakeholders.

To address objective 1, flood and drought stress will be imposed on experimental trees. Drought and flood conditions will be imposed and beetle attacks on each tree will be quantified. Stems from attacked trees will be returned to laboratories at the end of the experiment and stored until dissection. Adults, brood (i.e., eggs, larvae, pupae), and presence of fungal gardens will be quantified to assess colonization success. Objective 1 will also be addressed by inoculating trees with fire blight and/or Phytophthora to assess the influence of infection on ethanol production and ambrosia beetles. Count data of attacks, specimens, and fungal gardens will be determined. To address objective 2, cooperators will evaluate trapping tactics and lure release rates for species-specific monitoring of ambrosia beetles and correlating trap captures with attacks. Different lure types will be tested in orchards and/or nurseries. Objective 2 will also be addressed by developing and comparing existing and portable technologies to monitor tree ethanol production in orchard and nursery crop systems. Effective portable devices will be determined in the first tier of experiments, followed by the second tier of experiments to evaluate devices on a larger scale in nurseries and orchards for detecting vulnerable trees. Objective 3 will be addressed by testing conventional and alternative insecticides under field conditions using trees and/or bolts. Objective 3 will also be addressed by testing repellents and integrating them with attractants as part of a push-pull strategy. Objective 3 will also be addressed by testing plant defense elicitors for inhibiting ambrosia beetle attacks and/or colonization using potted trees under flood stress regimes. To transfer research-based information to stakeholders for objective 4, cooperators will conduct traditional in-person meetings, web-based approaches (blogs,YouTube, social media), and outreach publications.