Response of Plant-Feeding, Predatory, and Soil-Inhabiting Invertebrates to Acremonium Endophyte and Nitrogen Fertilization in Tall Fescue Turf

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The endophytic fungus Acremonillm coenophialum Morgan-Jones & Gams conveys resistance to herbivory in tall fescue, Festuca arundinacea Schreber. In contrast, nitrogen fertilization generally enhances plant quality for herbivores. We studied the in effects and interaetion of A. coenphialum and fertilization on plant-feeding, predatory, and soil-dwelling invertebrates in tall fescue turf. Fall armyworms, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), developed faster when reared on foliage from plots treated with medium or high rates of urea than on unfertilized tall fescue, but development rates were not affected by A. coenophialum. Greenbugs, Schizaphis graminum Rondani, preferred fertilized, endophyte-free fescue over nonfertilized, endophyte-free grass. Similarly, bird cherry-oat aphids, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.), developed fastest on fertilized, endophyte-free tall fescue. Fertilization, however, did not overlide the strong, adverse effects of A. coenophialum on both aphid species. In field plots, densities of leafhoppers, flea beetles, and Staphylinidae were generally higher in fertilized than in nonfertilized turf. Flea beetles and two of the five most abundant species of leafhoppers were less numerous in endophyte-infected plots. Predatory arthropods, earthworms, oribatid mites, and Japal1l'se bee tip grubs were equally abundant in endophyte-infected and endophyte free plots. Fertilization did not affect the densities of oribatids or P japonica, but earthworms Were more abundant in fertilized plots on some dates. Results showed variable main effects, and an absence of interactive effects of A. coenophialum and fertilization on invertebrates in tall fescue. Fertilization of tall fescue probably will not nullify the benefits of endophyte-enhanced resistance.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1995

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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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