Interaction of Insects and Weeds in a Snap Bean Agroecosystem
Aguyoh, Joseph Nyamori
Masiunas, John B.
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Abstract.Integrated weed management strategies maintain sub-threshold levels of weeds. The remaining weeds may impact the feeding and habitation patterns of both potato leafhoppers and bean leaf beetles in a snap bean agroecosystem. The objective of our study was to determine the effect of interference between snap beans (Phaseolus vulgarisL.) and either redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexusL.) or large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis L.) on populations of potato leafhopper [Empoasca fabae (Harris)] and bean leaf beetle [Cerotoma trifurcata (Forster)]. Plots were seeded with redroot pigweed or large crabgrass at either the same time as snap bean planting (early) or when snap bean had one trifoliate leaf open (late). The weed density averaged two plants per meter of row. Bean leaf beetle populations, snap bean pod damage, and leaf defoliation were lower in weed-free plots compared to those with either early emerging pigweed or crabgrass. Leafhopper nymphs and adults were 31% to 34% less in plots with crabgrass emerging with snap beans compared to those in weed-free snap bean plots. Thus, the effect of sub-threshold densities of pigweed and crabgrass on insect pests in snap bean varied depending on the species and should be considered when deciding to integrate weed management approaches.
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