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Bull Entomol Res. 2014 Feb;104(1):56-64. doi: 10.1017/S0007485313000497. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Effect of field edges on dispersal and distribution of colonizing stink bugs across farmscapes of the southeast USA.

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  • 1USDA, ARS, Crop Protection and Management Research Laboratory, PO Box 748, Tifton, GA 31793, USA.
  • 2USDA, ARS, Southeastern Fruit and Nut Tree Research Laboratory, 21 Dunbar Road, Byron, GA 31008, USA.
  • 3NFREC-Quincy, University of Florida, 155 Research Road, Quincy, FL 32351, USA.
  • 4College of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Natural Resources Spatial Analysis Lab, 312a Conner Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Stink bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae), including Nezara viridula (L.), Euschistus servus (Say), and Chinavia hilaris (Say), are economic pests in farmscapes where they move within and between closely associated crop and non-crop habitats. Thus, field edges in these farmscapes include not only crop-to-crop interfaces but also those edges adjoining non-crop habitats. We examined the influence of field edges on colonization of stink bugs in southeastern USA farmscapes composed of typical combinations of corn, peanut, and cotton. For E. servus and N. viridula, egg-to-adult development and presence of both sexes on all crops indicated that the crops served as reproductive plants. Adult C. hilaris were rarely found on corn and on crops associated with it, and they were present mainly in cotton in peanut-cotton farmscapes. Mature crop height was significantly higher for corn than for cotton and significantly higher for cotton over peanut, and an edge effect in dispersal of stink bugs into a crop was detected up to 4.6, 8.2, and 14.6 m from the crop-to-crop interface in corn, cotton, and peanut, respectively. These results suggest that stink bug dispersal into a crop decreases as crop height increases. The first stink bug-infested crop at the crop-to-crop interface was the most significant contributor of colonizing stink bugs to an adjacent crop. An edge effect in dispersal of stink bug adults was detected in corn next to non-woodlands and woodlands and in cotton adjacent to woodlands. Edge effects were never detected in side edges of peanut. Overall, our results indicate that both plant height and host plant suitability can influence edge-mediated dispersal of stink bugs at field edges.

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