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Factors affecting settlement rate of the hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, on eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis

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1 We assessed the importance of several factors potentially affecting the settlement rate of the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid Adelges tsugae (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) on uninfested foliage of the eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis. We conducted our experiments in Massachusetts (U.S.A.) with overwintering sistens adelgids, and applied standard densities of infested foliage to uninfested branches in a planned multiple-comparison design.

2 Settlement rates of progrediens crawlers produced by the overwintering sistens were highest when adelgid-infested foliage was loosely attached to uninfested foliage and both branches were then enclosed in a mesh sleeve.

3 Early-emerging crawlers settled at a higher rate than did late-emerging crawlers.

4 Increasing the density of infested branches did not affect settlement rates.

5 We also tested whether less severe winter conditions improved settlement, and found that overwintering infested foliage in a refrigerator decreased settlement rate relative to foliage overwintered outdoors.

6 Our results suggest a protocol for adelgid inoculations that could substantially increase the success rate of experimental manipulations and encourage additional research on the population dynamics of this pest.
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Keywords: Adelges tsugae; Tsuga canadensis; Tsuga caroliniana; herbivory; inoculation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, U.S.A.

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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