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Effect of Nitrogen Fertilization on Aphis gossypii (Homoptera: Aphididae): Variation in Size, Color, and Reproduction

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The effect of nitrogen fertilization on Aphis gossypii Glover color and size, fertility, and intrinsic rate of increase (rm) was studied on cotton plants. Nitrogen fertilization treatments consisted of 0, 50, 100, and 150% of the agronomic recommended level. Adult and nymph densities, as well as rm, were positively correlated with nitrogen fertilization. Aphid body length, head width, and darkness of color were recorded in populations on cotton plants fertilized with 100% nitrogen or with no nitrogen fertilization. Aphids on nitrogen-fertilized plants were significantly bigger and darker. All body size and darkness of color measurements were positively correlated with aphid fecundity. It was also found that the nutritional quality of the host plant on which the parent generation feeds has a stronger effect on the aphids than that of the quality of their own food plants. This phenomenon may dampen the effect short-term fluctuations in host plant quality have on aphid performance. Results are discussed in the context of aphid population biology, aphid–plant interactions and aphid population management.

Keywords: Aphis gossypii; aphid–plant interactions; cotton; fecundity; morphology; nitrogen fertilization

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-94.1.27

Publication date: February 1, 2001

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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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