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Characterization of the Arthropod Community Associated with Switchgrass (Poales: Poaceae) in Nebraska

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Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a perennial warm-season grass native to the North American Great Plains. Recently, this prairie grass has received increased attention as a potential biomass energy crop. Little is known about the arthropod community affecting switchgrass grown under either managed or minimally managed conditions. This information is important for characterizing the arthropods associated with switchgrass and developing appropriate management strategies for potential pests. The objectives of this research were to identify the arthropods associated with switchgrass in Nebraska and to document the seasonal abundance of selected arthropods. In 2007 and 2008, arthropods were sampled from May through October using vacuum samples, soil cores, pitfall traps, and yellow sticky traps. Samples were collected from switchgrass stands managed for biomass production and from native switchgrass at Nine-Mile Prairie in Lancaster County, NE. Thysanoptera and Hymenoptera comprised 60% of arthropods collected. Leafhoppers, grasshoppers, grass flies, and wireworms were the most abundant potential pests, whereas beneficial arthropods included ants, rove beetles, ground beetles, parasitoid wasps, and spiders. This research provides important baseline information on the arthropods associated with switchgrass in the central Great Plains.
Schaeffer, Sandra , Baxendale, Frederick , Heng-Moss, Tiffany , Sitz, Ransom , Sarath, Gautam , Mitchell, Robert , Shearman, Robert
ARS submission
Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 2011 Apr., v. 84, no. 2
Kansas Entomological Society
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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