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Effect of Leptoglossus occidentalis (Heteroptera: Coreidae) on Seed Development of Douglas-Fir at Different Times During the Growing Season in Western Oregon

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We tested the hypothesis that feeding by the western conifer seed bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, has different effects on Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, seed development at different times during the growing season. Seed bugs were caged on developing cones at densities of 0 and 0.5 per cone for 2-wk periods in mid-June, early July, and late July. Cones were dissected in August and seeds were categorized as undeveloped (aborted), empty seed coat, partially filled seed coat, or healthy. Total number of aborted seeds was significantly related to seed bug feeding, especially during early and mid-season treatments. Partially filled seed was significantly related to both seed bug feeding and season, with the seed bug effect increasing during seed development. Seed aborted as a result of seed bug feeding during early stages of seed development was 50% higher than in control cages and was indistinguishable from seed abortion attributed to other factors in previous studies. These data suggest that effects of seed bugs on seed production have been greatly underestimated in the past.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1990

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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