Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Southeast Watershed Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348897

Research Project: Ecology and Biologically-based Management Systems for Insect Pests in Agricultural Landscapes in the Southeastern Region

Location: Southeast Watershed Research

Title: Landscape and host plant effects on two important omnivorous arthropod taxa in field crops

item Olson, Dawn
item ZEILINGER, ADAM - University Of California
item PRESCOTT, KRISTINA - University Of Minnesota
item Coffin, Alisa
item RUBERSON, JOHN - Kansas State University
item ANDOW, DAVID - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: US-International Association for Landscape Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2018
Publication Date: 4/11/2018
Citation: Olson, D.M., Zeilinger, A., Prescott, K., Coffin, A.W., Ruberson, J., Andow, D. 2018. Landscape and host plant effects on two important omnivorous arthropod taxa in field crops. US-International Association for Landscape Ecology, April 8-12, 2018, Chicago, Illinois.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The economically important brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say), is a native pest of many crops in southeastern USA and insecticide applications are the prevailing method of population suppression. To elucidate biological control of E. servus populations, we investigated two egg predators’ (red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta Buren, and Geocoris spp.) responses to both local and landscape factors that may have influenced their combined ability to cause mortality in immature E. servus and to identify potential ways to increase their biological control efficacy. We investigated the influence of landscape and field-scale factors on the density of fire ants and Geocoris spp. on four major crop hosts—maize, peanut, cotton and soybean—in landscapes over three years in the coastal plain of Georgia USA. Both Geocoris spp. and fire ant populations were concentrated on specific crops in this study: maize and soybean for Geocoris spp. and peanut and cotton for fire ants, but the percentage area of specific crops and woodland and pasture in the landscape and year also influenced their density in focal fields. The differential and crop specific density of both taxa, the influence of the percentage area of specific crops and woodland in the landscape, and the variability in density over years may have been related to variable alternative resources for these omnivorous species in the habitats, and the variable and extreme weather conditions that occurred over the duration of this study. Despite the variability over years, the differential habitat use of fire ants and Georcoris spp. may have contributed to their combined ability to cause E. servus immature mortality. The possibility of altering crop management to further increase the density and efficacy of these omnivores in pest control is discussed.