Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/24/2011
Publication Date: 10/1/2011
Citation: Tillman, P.G. 2011. Influence of corn on stink bugs (Heteroptera:Pentatomidae) in subsequent crops. Environmental Entomology. 40(5):1159-1176. Interpretive Summary: In cotton, stink bugs are primary pests responsible for millions of dollars in losses and cost of control. Generally, in this region, corn is grown closely associated with peanut and/or cotton. The objective of this 3-yr on-farm study was to examine the influence of corn on stink bugs, including the southern green stink bugs and the brown stink bug, in peanut and cotton in corn-cotton, corn-peanut, and corn-peanut-cotton farmscapes. Interpolated stink bug population raster maps were constructed to show changes in distribution of stink bugs in farmscapes during periods of stink bug movement. Seasonal graphs of stink bug populations were developed to examine relative occurrence and abundance of stink bugs in each crop over time. Early in the growing season, stink bugs entered corn to oviposit and feed, eventually producing stink bug nymphs and adults in developing corn. This crop then served as source of stink bugs to subsequent peanut and cotton crops. Peanut can serve as mid-to late season breeding site for stink bugs and as a source of stink bugs to cotton in farmscapes composed of both crops. In mid-to-late summer, after stink bugs enter cotton to feed on newly-available bolls, new adults are grown in the crop, and some of these adults begin to overwinter. Therefore, management strategies for cotton need to be designed to break this cycle of stink bug production and expansion by exploiting their edge-mediated movement and host plant preferences.
Technical Abstract: In southeastern U. S. farmscapes, corn fields are often closely associated with peanut and/or cotton fields. Thus, the objective of this 3-yr on-farm study was to determine the influence of corn on stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), Nezara viridula (L.) and Euschistus servus (Say), in peanut and cotton in corn-cotton, corn-peanut, and corn-peanut-cotton farmscapes. Interpolated stink bug population raster maps were constructed to show changes in distribution of stink bugs in farmscapes during periods of host-plant switching. Seasonal graphs of stink bug populations were developed to examine relative occurrence and abundance of stink bug eggs, nymphs, and adults in each crop in a farmscape over time. In corn-cotton farmscapes, stink bugs were present only in corn early in the growing season, but stink bug eggs were found later in squaring cotton at the interface, or common boundary, of the farmscape. When bolls became available in cotton, stink bugs began decreasing in corn while increasing in cotton at the interface. Altogether, these results indicate that stink bug adults dispersed from corn into cotton early in the season to oviposit on cotton plants and then later to feed on cotton bolls. In corn-peanut farmscapes, stink bugs were present first in corn. In July, stink bugs entered peanut and began laying eggs at the interface. Then, stink bug nymphs increased in peanut and spread throughout the crop. A total of seven stink bug adults that had been marked in corn were recovered later in peanut in rows 1-9 at the interface. So, stink bug adults were dispersing from corn into peanut to produce nymphs and adults. In the corn-peanut-cotton farmscape, stink bugs were found exclusively on corn until entering peanut in July. Nymphs then were produced in peanut. Upon availability of bolls in cotton, stink bugs adults apparently dispersed from peanut into cotton. Evidently, populations of stink bugs in corn can directly and directly impact cotton, for stink bugs in both corn-cotton and corn-peanut-cotton farmscapes caused severe boll damage in cotton. In conclusion, stink bugs are generalist feeders that exhibit edge-mediated dispersal from corn into subsequent adjacent crops in corn-cotton, corn-peanut, and corn-peanut-cotton farmscapes to find food for adults and sites for oviposition and nymphal development over the growing season in this region.