Location: Southern Insect Management ResearchTitle: Factors affecting population dynamics of Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in a mixed landscape with Bt cotton and peanut
|DOS SANTOS, IZAILDA BARBOSA - Southwest Florida Research And Education Center|
|PAULA-MORAES, SILVANA - Southwest Florida Research And Education Center|
|BEUZELIN, JULIEN - Everglades Research Center|
|HAHN, DANIEL - University Of Florida|
Submitted to: Insects
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2023
Publication Date: 4/19/2023
Citation: Dos Santos, I., Paula-Moraes, S.V., Beuzelin, J., Hahn, D., Perera, O.P., Fraisse, C.W. 2023. Factors affecting population dynamics of Helicoverpa zea (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in a mixed landscape with Bt cotton and peanut. Insects. 14(4):395. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040395.
Interpretive Summary: Helicoverpa zea is a polyphagous pest of multiple cultivated and non-cultivated plants throughout the Americas. Overall, in North America, H. zea overwinters in southern states and recolonizes areas in northern states, which have lethal winter temperatures for this species. Studies of H. zea ecology in southern states, such as Florida, which are a source of migrants, can provide region-specific information with potential continental-wide implications. Here we determined the occurrence of H. zea in commercial fields of Bt cotton and peanut in two regions of the Florida Panhandle, investigated the effect of weather on the moth’s occurrence, and determined hosts used by H. zea across seasons from 2017 to 2019. The results indicate a year-round flight of H. zea and no difference on catches among traps set on Bt cotton versus peanut fields. The highest and lowest H. zea moth catches were from July to September and November to March, respectively. Higher H. zea catches were observed in warm and humid conditions. Based on carbon isotopic analysis, we detected larval feeding predominantly on C3 host plants throughout the year, which includes Bt cotton, with additional larvae feeding during the summer on C4 hosts, which includes Bt corn. These results suggest that overwintering and resident populations of H. zea in the Florida Panhandle may have increased exposure to Bt crops, increasing the risk for the evolution of resistance.
Technical Abstract: In North America, weather and host-plant abundance drive the population dynamics of the migratory pest Helicoverpa zea. The objectives of this study were to (i) estimate monthly abundance of H. zea moths in Bt cotton and peanut fields, (ii) document the effects of weather on H. zea trap catches, and (iii) determine larval hosts supporting H. zea populations from 2017 to 2019. Year-round trapping of H. zea moths was conducted in 16 commercial fields in two regions of the Florida Panhandle using delta traps. H. zea moth catches were associated with temperature, rainfall, and relative humidity. Larval hosts were determined by isotopic carbon analysis. Our results showed year-round H. zea flights in both regions across two years, with the highest and lowest moth catches occurring from July to September and November to March, respectively. There was no difference in catches between traps set on Bt cotton and peanut. In the Santa Rosa/Escambia counties, weather explained 59% of the variance in H. zea catches, with significant effects of temperature, relative humidity, and rainfall. In Jackson County, weather explained 38% of H. zea catches, with significant effects of temperature and relative humidity. Carbon isotopic data showed that feeding on C3 plants, including Bt cotton, occurred over most of the year, although feeding on C4 hosts, including Bt corn, occurred during the summer months. Hence overwintering and resident populations of H. zea in the Florida Panhandle may be continually exposed to Bt crops, increasing the risk for the evolution of resistance.