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J Econ Entomol. 2015 Jun;108(3):1221-7. doi: 10.1093/jee/tov105. Epub 2015 May 6.

Effects of Nitrogen Fertilization on Potato Leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) and Maple Spider Mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) on Nursery-Grown Maples.

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Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2089.
Department of Entomology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2089.
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2089. Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2089.


Although leaf nitrogen (N) has been shown to increase the suitability of hosts to herbivorous arthropods, the responses of these pests to N fertilization on susceptible and resistant host plants are not well characterized. This study determined how different rates of N fertilization affected injury caused by the potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae Harris) and the abundance of maple spider mite (Oligonychus aceris (Shimer)) on 'Red Sunset' red maple (Acer rubrum) and 'Autumn Blaze' Freeman maple (Acer×freemanii) during two years in Indiana. N fertilization increased leaf N concentration in both maple cultivars, albeit to a lesser extent during the second year of the study. Overall, Red Sunset maples were more susceptible to E. fabae injury than Autumn Blaze, whereas Autumn Blaze maples supported higher populations of O. aceris. Differences in populations of O. aceris were attributed to differences between communities of stigmaeid and phytoseiid mites on each cultivar. Injury caused by E. fabae increased with N fertilization in a dose-dependent manner in both cultivars. Although N fertilization increased the abundance of O. aceris on both maple cultivars, there was no difference between the 20 and 40 g rates. We suggest the capacity of N fertilization to increase O. aceris on maples could be limited at higher trophic levels by the community of predatory mites.


herbivorous arthropod; host plant resistance; predatory mite community

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