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Influence of flood-stress on ambrosia beetle host-selection and implications for their management in a changing climate

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Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford) is a key pest of ornamental nursery trees. Ethanol is the most attractive semiochemical known for X. germanus and other ambrosia beetles, and its emission from trees represents an important host-selection cue. The production and emission of ethanol can be induced by a variety of abiotic and biotic stressors, which could thereby predispose trees to attack by ethanol-responsive ambrosia beetles. To better understand ambrosia beetle host-selection behavior within ornamental nurseries, a series of experiments were conducted to examine the influence of flood-stress on the attractiveness and susceptibility of flowering dogwood, Cornus florida L. Under field conditions, more X. germanus were attracted to and landed on experimentally flood-stressed dogwoods than neighboring nonflooded controls in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Flood-stressed dogwoods were also preferentially attacked in 2009-2011, but no attacks occurred on any of the neighboring nonflooded trees. Solid phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS) detected ethanol in tissue core samples from trunks of flooded dogwoods, but not nonflooded trees. Acetaldehyde, acetic acid, and ethanol were also detected by SPME-GC-MS in bark emissions from flooded dogwoods, but not nonflooded trees. These results demonstrate X. germanus preferentially lands on and attacks physiologically-stressed hosts over neighboring healthy trees, and further supports the role of ethanol and potentially other stress-related volatiles in mediating this interaction. Minimizing stressors known to induce the production of ethanol and other stress-related volatiles should be the primary foundation of a management plan for X. germanus and other ethanol-responsive ambrosia beetles.
Christopher M. Ranger , Michael E. Reding , Peter B. Schultz , Jason B. Oliver
Cornus florida , Xylosandrus , acetaldehyde , acetic acid , ambrosia beetles , bark , climate change , core samplers , ethanol , flooded conditions , host plants , host preferences , host seeking , insect attractants , insect behavior , insect control , insect pests , nursery crops , ornamental trees , plant pests , plant stress , plant-insect relations , semiochemicals , spectroscopy , volatile compounds , water stress
Agricultural and forest entomology 2013 v.15 no.1
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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