Spillover of tent caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) herbivory onto willow bioenergy crops in an agricultural landscape

James O Eckberg, Gregg A Johnson, R. E. Pain, Donald L Wyse, George E Heimpel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The circumstances and potential for insects to damage perennial bioenergy crops is not well understood in the United States. In this study, we evaluated the spillover and herbivory of eastern tent caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum) from host trees onto short rotation coppice (SRC) willow bioenergy crops (Salix sp.). Host trees were all in the Rosaceae family and included Prunus americana, Prunus virginiana and Malus sp. Willow showed greater leaf herbivory with increasing proximity to a defoliated host tree, suggesting that tent caterpillars spilled-over to willow after denuding their host. More tent caterpillar herbivory was associated with greater mortality of willow. This study suggests that landscape context and spatial position of host trees is important to the early establishment of a willow bioenergy crop.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Volume167
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Keywords

  • Associational susceptibility
  • biomass
  • insect herbivory

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