Effect of Crop Seed Water Content on the Rate of Seed Damage by Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
Authors: Morrison, John E.; Williams, David F.; Oi, David H.
Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 92, Number 1, February 1999 , pp. 215-219(5)
Publisher: Entomological Society of America
Abstract:Red imported fire ants, Solenopis invicta Buren, are known to feed upon planted field crop seed; however, the relationship with varying levels of seed water content is not known. If red imported fire ants are feeding on planted seed during periods of slow seed germination, and if the seed are more palatable or otherwise more easily damaged at elevated water contents, the risk of crop-stand loss is increased. In this study, 5 types of field crop seeds—wheat, Triticum aestivum L.; corn, Zea mays L.; grain sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench; cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L.; and soybean, Glycine max L.—were exposed to red imported fire ants under laboratory conditions to measure damage caused by feeding. The seeds were dry and on moistened filter paper for maximum rate of germination, and at 20, 40, and 60% water contents for various parts of the study. Moistened seed suffered 2-90 times more damage in 48 h than comparable dry seed. When commercial sorghum seed was tested at 4 initial water contents, seed damage increased ≈22 times over damage to dry seed. A model was developed to predict the feeding damage to commercial sorghum seed as a function of elapsed time and seed water content. The risk of feeding damage relative to germination increased up to as much as 20 times when the initial water content was 60% compared with dry seed, except for corn damage. which was relatively insensitive to water content. We conclude from laboratory studies that crop-stand losses are likely to be most severe for wheat and grain sorghum when moistened seed are exposed to feeding by red imported fire ants.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 1999-02-01
- 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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