Adjacent Habitat Influence on Stink Bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) Densities and the Associated Damage at Field Corn and Soybean Edges
Venugopal, P. Dilip
Coffey, Peter L.
Dively, Galen P.
Lamp, William O.
Venugopal PD, Coffey PL, Dively GP, Lamp WO (2014) Adjacent Habitat Influence on Stink Bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) Densities and the Associated Damage at Field Corn and Soybean Edges. PLoS ONE 9(10): e109917. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109917
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The local dispersal of polyphagous, mobile insects within agricultural systems impacts pest management. In the mid- Atlantic region of the United States, stink bugs, especially the invasive Halyomorpha halys (Stal 1855), contribute to economic losses across a range of cropping systems. Here, we characterized the density of stink bugs along the field edges of field corn and soybean at different study sites. Specifically, we examined the influence of adjacent managed and natural habitats on the density of stink bugs in corn and soybean fields at different distances along transects from the field edge. We also quantified damage to corn grain, and to soybean pods and seeds, and measured yield in relation to the observed stink bug densities at different distances from field edge. Highest density of stink bugs was limited to the edge of both corn and soybean fields. Fields adjacent to wooded, crop and building habitats harbored higher densities of stink bugs than those adjacent to open habitats. Damage to corn kernels and to soybean pods and seeds increased with stink bug density in plots and was highest at the field edges. Stink bug density was also negatively associated with yield per plant in soybean. The spatial pattern of stink bugs in both corn and soybeans, with significant edge effects, suggests the use of pest management strategies for crop placement in the landscape, as well as spatially targeted pest suppression within fields.