Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Entomology

First Advisor

Dr. Lynne Rieske-Kinney

Abstract

Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), is an aggressive invader from Asia that has killed millions of trees in North America. Recently EAB has been documented developing in a novel host, white fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus. I evaluated larval performance in two common ash species and white fringetree by infesting excised bolts with emerald ash borer eggs. In addition I evaluated several plant characteristics to determine which most influence larval development. I also conducted choice and no choice assays using the classical biological control agent, Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), to assess its ability to locate larval EAB in the different host plants. I found significantly lower survival rates of EAB larvae in white fringetree compared to white ash, F. americana. Larval phloem consumption and larval growth were lower in fringetree than in both ash tested. In choice and no choice assays T. planipennisi failed to parasitize larvae in fringetree. Failure of T. planipennisi to parasitize larvae within fringetree has implications for the efficacy of this classical biological control agent. Coupled with the use of white fringetree as a reservoir host, the enemy free space provided to EAB through use of this alternate host may have repercussions for EAB invasion dynamics.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2018.088

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