The influence of weather and microclimate on Dalbulus maidis (Homoptera: Cicadellidae) flight activity and the incidence of diseases within maize and bean monocultures and bicultures in tropical America

VILMA CASTRO, CARMEN RIVERA, SCOTT A. ISARD, RODRIGO GÁMEZ, JACQUELINE FLETCHER, MICHAEL E. IRWIN

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Abstract

Mixed cropping systems in tropical America have been shown to be less prone than monocultures to damage from pathogens carried by insects. This finding formed the basis for a series of experiments conducted in Costa Rica to evaluate the hypothesis that mixed cropping systems create a physical environment that influences vector movement and consequently the spread of leafhopper‐borne pathogens. The principle finding of the study is that both the mixture of plants and planting density have little influence on the spread of pathogens by Dalbulus maidis, an oligophagus leafhopper which prefers maize, within maize and bean single and mixed cropping systems. Leafhopper flight activity proved similar for high and low density monocultures and bicultures. The number of leafhoppers immigrating to and emigrating from a field appears dependent on the size of the field, not the density of maize plants. Single and mixed crops with the same density of maize plants were equally prone to damage by pathogens carried by leafhoppers. The lower percentage infection in high density than in low density maize treatments resulted from fewer vectors per plant in the former.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-482
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Volume121
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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