Seed Reduction in Prairie Cordgrass, Spartina pectinata Link., by the Floret-Feeding Caterpillar Aethes spartinana (Barnes and McDunnough)

Prasifka, Jarrad; Lee, D.K.; Bradshaw, Jeffrey; Parrish, Allen; Gray, Michael
March 2012
BioEnergy Research;Mar2012, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p189
Academic Journal
Insect damage to prairie cordgrass, Spartina pectinata Link., is conspicuously high in Illinois, where attempts to collect native seed show the majority of spikelets damaged with small holes. Dissection of spikes during summer reveals minute caterpillars boring though glumes and feeding on florets inside. In 2009-2010, panicles of prairie cordgrass from across its native range were used to estimate the percentage of insect-related damage and losses to seed production. Collections of caterpillars from panicles and stems were used to identify one floret-feeding species, estimate its distribution in the central USA, and assess its feeding patterns within spikes. Insect feeding damaged 38% of spikelets across eight states, though injury differed significantly between states. Regression of developed prairie cordgrass seeds onto insect damage suggests a 1:1 loss ratio (i.e., 50% damaged spikelets reduces seed production by 50%). Collections of caterpillars from six midwestern states suggest that larvae of a tortricid moth, Aethes spartinana (Barnes and McDunnough), are responsible for most insect damage to cordgrass spikelets. Larvae of A. spartinana generally feed on a series of consecutive spikelets, with high infestations (>50% insect damage) showing damage concentrated in the middle of spikes. Because larvae are concealed by moving into adjacent spikelets and later tunneling into cordgrass stems, they may be difficult to control using insecticides. While direct effects of the caterpillar on biomass yields for prairie cordgrass are not known, for states like Illinois (where damage to spikelets often exceeds 70%), breeding and seed production efforts may be severely limited without efforts to manage A. spartinana.


Related Articles

  • Ethanol Jitters. Miller, Dale // National Hog Farmer;8/15/2006, Vol. 51 Issue 8, p5 

    The article focuses on the advantage of growing several species, particularly prairie plants, to produce biomass energy. Multiple-species prairie plants are good source of energy, such as ethanol or synthetic fuels. This approach in energy sourcing was promoted by University of Minnesota...

  • Caring for Conifers. Terrill, Deb // Chicagoland Gardening;May/Jun2011, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p28 

    The article offers tips on how to care for conifers. The need for gardeners to know how to help the plantings thrive and mature into valuable garden accents is discussed. It highlights the key factors to consider when watering, fertilizing and pruning evergreen plants. Gardeners are also advised...

  • Optimization of modified clean fractionation of prairie cordgrass. Cybulska, Iwona; Hanwu Lei; Julson, James; Brudecki, Grzegorz // International Journal of Agricultural & Biological Engineering;Jun2012, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p42 

    In this study, modified clean fractionation process was optimized for prairie cordgrass, with usage of alternative organic constituent - ethyl acetate. Other constituents of the solvent mixture included ethanol and water. Clean fractionation solvent was used in different proportions of the...

  • Genetic map of biomass crop drafted. Nixon, Lance // Dakota Farmer;May2011, p20 

    The article focuses on the drafted genetic road map of pairie cordgrass, which provides scientists an inside view at the genes of such biomass crop which is believed to be suitable for biomass production to make biofuels.

  • Weed problem on the newly established prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) plantations intended for energetic purposes. Sekutowski, Tomasz R.; DziÄ…gwa, Magdalena // Journal of Central European Agriculture;Jun2012, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p253 

    In our research conducted in years 2009-2011 three herbicides were examined in the respect of their usefulness at the plantation of prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) intended for energetic purposes. In the light of the conducted observations, it seems that selectivity of particular...

  • Comparison of Nekton Use for Cordgrass Spartina alterniflora and Bulrush Scirpus mariqueter Marshes in the Yangtze River Estuary, China. Quan, Weimin; Shi, Liyan; Chen, Yaqu // Estuaries & Coasts;Mar2011, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p405 

    To test whether invasive Spartina alterniflora marshes were functionally equivalent to native Scirpus mariqueter marshes, the present study used bottomless lift nets (20 m) during 12 high-tide events from August to October 2008 to compare nekton densities and biomass between the two marsh types...

  • biomass bulletin.  // Biomass Bulletin;2011, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p84 

    The article presents abstracts of papers related to biomass research including "European Biomass Resource Potential and Costs," by M. Wit and A. Faaij, "Hydrothermal Pretreatment and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Prairie Cord Grass," by I. Cybulska and colleagues, and "Economic Assessment and...

  • The Role of Seed and Vegetative Reproduction in Plant Recruitment and Demography in Tallgrass Prairie. Benson, Emily J.; Hartnett, David C. // Plant Ecology;Dec2006, Vol. 187 Issue 2, p163 

    Recruitment, establishment and survivorship of seed- and vegetatively-derived shoots were quantified biweekly in annually burned and infrequently burned tallgrass prairie to investigate the contributions of seed and vegetative reproduction to the maintenance and dynamics of tallgrass prairie...

  • North Carolina kudzu bug treatment thresholds evolving. Reisig, Dominic // Southeast Farm Press Exclusive Insight;5/16/2013, p5 

    The article offers information on new thresholds in North Carolina for kudzu bug treatment. With increased kudzu bug activity in wintering sites, it states that treatment thresholds must also adapt to prepare for later in the season where the soybeans, a reproductive host of the kudzu bug, are...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics