An endophytic fungus interacts with crown level and larval density to reduce the survival of eastern spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), on white spruce (Picea glauca)
endophyte, plant resistance, Phialocephala scopiformis, spruce budworm, crown level, larval density
A two-year field study was carried out to determine whether inoculating white spruce, Picea glauca (Moench) Voss, with a native endophytic fungus, Phialocephala scopiformis DAOM 229536 Kowalski & Kehr (Helotiales, Ascomycota), decreased the performance of eastern spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana Clemens, developing on these trees. Second instars were reared at three densities in the mid crown and at one density in the lower, mid, and upper crown. Larval survival (i.e., survival of larvae to pupation) was lower on endophyte-inoculated trees than on control trees in the mid crown and especially the upper crown but was similar in the lower crown, resulting in a significant interaction between endophyte and crown level. A similar but marginally insignificant interaction was observed for overall survival up to adult emergence (i.e., total survival). Larval survival and total survival were approximately 22% and 19% lower, respectively, when developing in the upper crown of endophyte-inoculated trees than in control trees. Larval survival remained relatively constant, with increased density on control trees but decreased with density on endophyte-inoculated trees, resulting in a significant interaction between endophyte and larval density. Sex ratios of emerged adults and wing lengths of emerged females were not influenced by the endophyte. Our results suggest that endophytic fungi could be useful additions to integrated pest management programs.
Quiring D, Flaherty L, Adams G, McCartney A, Miller D, Edwards S (2019) An endophytic fungus interacts with crown level and larval density to reduce the survival of eastern spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) on white spruce (Picea glauca). Canadian Journal of Forest Research 49(3): 221-227, https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2018-0194
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