Southern chinch bug and weed occurrence in st augustinegrass
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Southern Chinch Bug and Weed Occurrence in St. Augustinegrass. C. Rainbolt, R. Cherry, and R. Nagata Everglades REC/University of Florida-IFAS Belle Glade, FL. Introduction. St. Augustinegrass lawns are utilized throughout the southern United States Climactic and environmental adaptation

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Southern chinch bug and weed occurrence in st augustinegrass

Southern Chinch Bug and Weed Occurrence in St. Augustinegrass

C. Rainbolt, R. Cherry, and R. Nagata

Everglades REC/University of Florida-IFAS

Belle Glade, FL


Introduction
Introduction Augustinegrass

  • St. Augustinegrass lawns are utilized throughout the southern United States

  • Climactic and environmental adaptation

  • Tolerance to sun


Weeds in turf
Weeds in Turf Augustinegrass

  • Create visual disruptions of uniformity that reduce aesthetic appeal

  • High plant densities can prevent weeds from becoming established

  • Actively growing plants are more able to compete with weeds than weakened plants

  • Biotic or abiotic conditions that weaken grass stands can result in increased weed populations


Southern chinch bug
Southern Chinch Bug Augustinegrass

  • Blissus insularis Barber is the most damaging insect pest of St. Augustinegrass

  • Ability to develop resistance to insecticides and overcome host resistance

  • Heavy infestations cause substantial damage to St. Augustinegrass that leading to dead brown patches of turf

Photo by Mr. Jim DeFilippis (www.turfgrass.com)


Arthropods x weeds
Arthropods X Weeds Augustinegrass

  • Norris and Kogan (2000) published a thorough review of arthropod and weed interactions

  • Although many relationships between arthropods and weeds are recognized, few are documented

  • Interaction can result in habitat modification that favors the development of one or both species


Background and objective
Background and Objective Augustinegrass

  • In southern Florida, weed infestations commonly occur in areas with southern chinch bug (SCB) infestations

  • The objective was to determine if SCB caused higher weed populations in St. Augustinegrass


Materials and methods
Materials and Methods Augustinegrass

  • Eight sites were sampled from March to August, 2005 in urban lawns in Palm Beach County, Florida

  • Each site contained 3 distinct habitats (5 x 5 m each):

    • Active SCB infestation

    • Weedy St. Augustinegrass

    • Green healthy appearing St. Augustinegrass


Southern chinch bug sampling
Southern Chinch Bug Sampling Augustinegrass

  • Sampled by vacuuming five randomly selected 30 x 30 cm areas for 2 min using a modified blower/vacuum

  • Samples were frozen for later counting, thawed, and passed through a sieve to remove debris

  • Counted by microscopic evaluation


Weed sampling
Weed Sampling Augustinegrass

  • Following chinch bug sampling, weeds were counted and recorded by genus and species within five randomly located 0.4 m2 subplots in each habitat

  • St. Augustinegrass groundcover was estimated visually on a scale of 0 to 100

  • Data from the eight sites were pooled and mean differences were determined using LSD test



Scb results
SCB Results St. Augustinegrass

  • SCB populations are similar to other studies

  • SCB are highly aggregated at infestations with few in surrounding healthy St. Augustinegrass

  • Superimposing SCB and weed data shows that weeds were infesting areas of chinch bug damage since chinch bugs had little attraction to weedy habitats


Weed results
Weed Results St. Augustinegrass

  • Weed populations were higher and St. Augustine groundcover was lower in the SCB infested habitats

  • 28 weed species were identified, 7 were monocots

  • SCB breed exclusively on monocots

  • The most commonly found species were southern crabgrass, common bermudagrass, small hop clover, Hyssop spurge, and green killinga

  • Healthy sites contained an average of 3.8 ± 2.6 different species compared to 6.8 ± 4.3 in weedy and SCB infested habitats


Discussion
Discussion St. Augustinegrass

  • Data did not indicate that certain weed species were more able than others to capitalize on SCB damage and become established

  • The prevailing weed species in the healthy habitat tended to be the dominant species in infested and weedy habitats


Conclusions
Conclusions St. Augustinegrass

  • When damage reduces groundcover, resources become available to other species that are not affected

  • After SCB infestations are reduced through insecticidal and/or natural controls, the weed problem remains

  • Consequently, weed suppression as a result of SCB should be considered when determining the economic threshold for control in St. Augustinegrass


Questions
Questions? St. Augustinegrass


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