Location: Crop Protection and Management ResearchTitle: Effect of field edges on dispersal and distribution of colonizing stink bugs across farmscapes of the Southeast USA Author
Submitted to: Bulletin of Entomological Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2013
Publication Date: 9/18/2013
Citation: Tillman, P.G., Cottrell, T.E., Mizell Iii, R.F., Kramer, E. 2014. Effect of field edges on dispersal and distribution of colonizing stink bugs across farmscapes of the Southeast US. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 104:56-64. Interpretive Summary: Stink bugs are primary pests responsible for millions of dollars in losses and cost of control in many vegetable and row crops. Generally, in this region, corn, peanut, and cotton are grown close together in farmscapes. In these agricultural landscapes field edges include crop-to-crop interfaces and side edges adjacent to woods and other non-crop habitats. In this study, we examined the influence of these crop-to-crop interfaces and woodland and non-woodland habitats adjacent to these crops on colonization of stink bugs in these farmscapes. Colonizing stink bugs only dispersed up to 50 ft. into the field in these crops. Plant height of corn was higher than cotton or peanut, and plant height of cotton was higher than peanut, suggesting that there is a relationship between crop plant height and the distance stink bugs disperse into fields. The first stink bug infested crop at the crop-to-crop interface was the most significant contributor of colonizing stink bugs to an adjacent crop. Woodland field borders adjacent to field edges also were sources of colonizing stink bugs for corn and cotton, but not for peanut. From a stink bug management standpoint in cotton, crop-to-cotton interfaces are likely to be the key problem areas. Multifunctional trap cropping systems need to be designed and planted at these interfaces to deter stink bug movement into cotton and enhance the activity of stink bug natural enemies.
Technical Abstract: Stink bugs, including Nezara viridula (L.), Euschistus servus (Say) and Chinavia hilaris (Say), are economic pests across agricultural landscapes, i.e. farmscapes, where they move within and between closely associated crop and non-crop habitats. Thus, habitat edges include crop-to-crop interfaces, but woodland and non-woodland habitats also occur adjacent to crops in these farmscapes. In this study, we examined the influence of habitat edges on colonization of stink bugs in corn, peanut and cotton in corn-cotton, corn-peanut and peanut-cotton farmscapes. There was an edge effect in dispersal of stink bugs up to 4.6, 8.2 and 14.6 m from the interface field edge in corn, cotton and peanut, respectively. Plant height of corn was significantly higher than cotton or peanut, and plant height of cotton was significantly higher than peanut, suggesting a relationship between crop plant height and depth of field edge effects. The first stink bug infested crop at the crop-to-crop interface was the most significant contributor of colonizing stink bugs to an adjacent crop. Woodland field borders adjacent to field edges also were sources of colonizing stink bugs for corn and cotton, but not for peanut, in these farmscapes. Previously unreported host plants or food plants in non-crop habitats include dallisgrass, (Paspalum dilatatum Poir.), morning glory, [Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth], chinaberry, (Melia azedarach L.) and pokeweed (Phytolacca americana L.). There is a need for expanded assessment of landscape configuration at various spatial scales and the role that non-crop features might play in supporting stink bug populations over the course of the growing season and when agricultural crops are unavailable in the landscape.