Response of Barley to Grasshopper Defoliation in Interior Alaska: Dry Matter and Grain Yield

Authors: Begna, Sultan H.; Fielding, Dennis J.

Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 98, Number 6, December 2005 , pp. 1969-1976(8)

Publisher: Entomological Society of America

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Abstract:

Barley, Hordeum vulgare L., is well adapted to subarctic Alaska growing conditions, but little is known about its response to grasshopper defoliation. A field experiment was conducted to study dry matter and grain yield in response to a combination of grasshopper defoliation and weeds in 2002 and 2003 near Delta Junction, AK (63° 55′ N, 145° 20′ W). Barley plants at third to fourth leaf stage were exposed to a combination of two levels of weeds (present or absent) and four densities of grasshoppers (equivalent to 0, 25, 50, and 75 grasshoppers per m2) of third to fourth instars of Melanoplus sanguinipes (F). Dry matter accumulation by the barley plants was determined at three times during the growing seasons: ≈10 d after introduction of the grasshoppers, shortly after anthesis, and at maturity. Dry matter accumulation and grain yield were much lower in 2003 than in 2002, probably due to very low levels of soil moisture early in the growing season of 2003. Head clipping accounted for a greater portion of yield loss in 2003 than in 2002. The percentage of reduction in harvestable yield due to grasshoppers remained fairly constant between years (1.9 and 1.4 g per grasshopper per m2 in 2002 and 2003, respectively) despite a large difference in overall yield. Examination of the yield components suggest that yields were reduced by the early season drought in 2003 primarily through fewer seeds per head, whereas grasshoppers in both years reduced average seed weight, but not numbers of seeds.

Keywords: barley; harvest index; sink-limitation; subarctic; yield

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • 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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