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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Plant Pathology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336949

Research Project: EMERGING DISEASES OF CITRUS, VEGETABLES, AND ORNAMENTALS

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Title: Diversity and impact of herbivorous insects on Brazilian peppertree in Florida prior to release of exotic biological control agents

Author
item BHATTARAI, GANESH - University Of Florida
item DIAZ, RODRIGO - University Of Florida
item MANRIQUE, VERONICA - University Of Florida
item Turechek, William
item BUSS, LYLE - University Of Florida
item STANGE, BERNARDETTE - University Of Florida
item OVERHOLT, WILLIAM - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2017
Publication Date: 5/23/2017
Citation: Bhattarai, G.P., Diaz, R., Manrique, V., Turechek, W., Buss, L., Stange, B., Overholt, W.A. 2017. Diversity and impact of herbivorous insects on Brazilian peppertree in Florida prior to release of exotic biological control agents. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 27(6):703-722. https://doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2017.1329929.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2017.1329929

Interpretive Summary: The impact of insect herbivores on the performance of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi (Anacardiaceae), was evaluated at two locations in Florida using an insecticide exclusion method. Although several species of insect herbivores were collected on the invasive tree, there was no difference in growth or reproductive output of insecticide protected and unprotected trees, providing evidence that insect feeding had no measurable impact on tree performance. The majority of insects collected on Brazilian peppertree were generalists, and several were serious agricultural pests. The growth of Brazilian peppertree was rapid compared to native trees which occupy a similar niche.

Technical Abstract: The impact of insect herbivores on the performance of Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi (Anacardiaceae), was evaluated at two locations in Florida using an insecticide exclusion method. Although several species of insect herbivores were collected on the invasive tree, there was no difference in growth or reproductive output of insecticide protected and unprotected trees, providing evidence that insect feeding had no measurable impact on tree performance. The majority of insects collected on Brazilian peppertree were generalists, and several were serious agricultural pests. The growth of Brazilian peppertree was rapid compared to native trees which occupy a similar niche. Moreover, plants grown from seeds collected on the west coast of Florida performed better than plants originating from the east coast at a west coast site, whereas plants collected on the east coast outperformed plants from the west coast at an east coast study site, suggesting the trees may have adapted to local conditions since their introduction into Florida.