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Research Project: Biological Control of Invasive Weeds from Eurasia and Africa

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Title: Influence of host plant on wind dispersal by an eriophyid mite, Aceria salsola

item Smith, Lincoln

Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2018
Publication Date: 8/23/2019
Citation: Smith, L. 2018. Influence of host plant on wind dispersal by an eriophyid mite, Aceria salsola. In: Hinz, H.L., et al. (eds.), XV International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Engelberg, Switzerland. 27-31 August 2018, p. 135.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Host specificity testing of prospective biological control agents typically involves choice and no-choice testing. However, eriophyid mites normally disperse by wind, so it is difficult to design an experiment that would realistically enable a mite to choose between two host plants. It may be more practical to measure the propensity of mites to disperse away from preferred or non-preferred host plants. Aceria salsolae is a prospective biological control agent for Russian thistle, Salsoa tragus. We tested adult mites in a small wind tunnel and recorded the number of mites remaining on five species of plants. Wind reduced the number of mites on all plants, but had a greater effect on nontarget plants. The population remaining after 42 hours on the natural host plant, S. tragus, was 13% lower in the wind treatment than in absence of wind. On the nontarget plants, the population was reduced by 52 to 86%. The results incate that mites more readily disperse from nontarget plants, but that many remain even after a 43 hour period under laboratory conditions.