Monday, 15 November 2004

Differences in ground arthropod diversity in three different tillage systems of flue-cured tobacco

Lakshmipathi Srigiriraju,, Paul J. Semtner,, and T. David Reed, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Southern Piedmont AREC, Blackstone, VA

Studies are under way at Virginia Tech, Southern Piedmont AREC, Blackstone, VA to evaluate the impact of tillage system, insecticide application and cover type on the abundance of ground-inhabiting arthropods in flue-cured tobacco. The three types of tillage systems were plowed, strip till and no-till planting each followed by moderate cultivation at 4th wk after transplanting. The insect management practices included (1) treatment with an organophosphate (Acephate - OrtheneŽ) as a transplant water treatment and the same used for the control of lepidopteran pests (2) a neonicotinoid (Imidacloprid - AdmireŽ for sucking pest and Spinosad - TracerŽ for lepidopteran pest control) compared to the chemical free treatment (control). The tests were conducted in two different cover crops, wheat and sorghum. The experiment was laid out in a latin square design, and replicated four times to minimize possible habitat heterogeneity. Pitfall trap sampling was carried out starting a week after transplanting (May 2004). Two standard pit-fall traps (=one trap, Martin 1977) were placed per plot for sampling the ground inhabiting arthropods. Pitfall trap sampling will be carried out for 16 wk, till the completion of harvest.

Specimens will be sorted to the order level and the data would be analyzed to compare the differences in species richness, relative abundance and species density, proportion of each species and their dominance between treatments and the two cover crop types respectively.

Species 1: Coleoptera Carabidae (ground beetles)
Species 2: Aranea Lycosidae (wolf spider)
Keywords: Nicotiana tabacum, tillage

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