Source: NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV submitted to
EFFECT OF AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES ON SOIL ARTHROPODS AND THEIR ENEMIES
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0168830
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
NC06399
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2000
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2004
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Barbercheck, M. E.
Recipient Organization
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV
(N/A)
RALEIGH,NC 27695
Performing Department
ENTOMOLOGY
Non Technical Summary
As synthetic inputs in agriculture are reduced, we will need to become more reliant on services provided by soil organisms, e.g. nutrient cycling and biological control. This project examines the effects of various production practices on pest and beneficial arthropods and on entomopathogenic nematodes.
Animal Health Component
25%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
75%
Applied
25%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1010110107020%
2113110113010%
2112410113010%
2113120113020%
2153120113020%
2153130112020%
Goals / Objectives
1)Determine the impact of selected production practices on selected soil organisms 2) develop biotic indicators of soil quality
Project Methods
A large-scale, long-term field experiment is being conducted to determine the ffect of production practices on selected soil organisms. Production practices include conventional and organic methods. Data on soil arthropods and entomopathogenic nematode populations from the experimental site will be used to calculate various indices of diversity to determine if thes organisms can be used to discriminate among the various practices, resource condition, and plant productivity. Yield and crop quality will also be measured.

Progress 10/01/00 to 09/30/04

Outputs
Plots in the Long-term Farming Systems Trial at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems were sampled in 2001, 2002, and 2003 to determine the effects of various production systems on selected soil abiotic and biotic characteristics. Treatments include: Best Management Practices-Conventional till; Best Management Practices-No till; Organic; Old Field succession; Woodlot/Black Walnut; and Pasture. Three species of beneficial insect-parasitic nematodes, Steinernema carpocapsae, S. glaseri and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, and two insect-pathogenic fungi, Beauveria and Metarhizium, were isolated from the site. Abundance of entomopathogenic nematodes was greater in the BMP no-till, Woodlot and Successional plots than in the BMP conventional till, organic, and pasture plots. S. carpocapsae, appears to have been most severely affected by soil disturbance tillage in the organic and conventional tillage treatments, and by compaction in the pasture. H. bacteriophora, was more abundant in the BMP conventional till than no-till plots. S. glaseri was equally abundant across all treatments. Insect-parasitic fungi were rarely dectected. Metarhizium anisopliae was more commonly detected than Beauveria bassiana. M. anisopliae was detected in the pasture system about 2 to 5 more frequently than in other systems. Cumulative abundance of soil microarthropods was greater in the organic, successional and BMP no-till treatments than in the Woodlot, BMP conventional till and pasture treatments. This pattern was driven by the abundance of soil mites, which comprised about 70% of the sampled arthropod community. Collembola and all other arthropods comprised about 20 and 10% of the soil arthropod community, respectively. Soil compaction in the pasture system may have contributed to the low numbers of arthropods detected there. Collembolan abundance was positively correlated with percentage sand and macroporosity (r2 = 0.4) and negatively correlated with percentage clay microporosity (r2 = -0.4). 42% of the variation in abundance of soil organisms was explained by the first two dimensions. In the Tillage Unit at CEFS, two experiments were conducted to evaluate the response of soil fauna to the application of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) to the soil in no-till and conventional-till corn. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (CEFS strain), Steinernema riobrave , and Steinernema carpocapsae (CEFS strain) were applied inundatively or as infected insect cadavers. Responses of soil fauna differed significantly between the two application methods. Sample date and time, tillage regime, and blocks significantly affected abundance, diversity and community composition of soil invertebrates in both experiments. Significant effects due to treatment were found at all levels in both experiments, and significant effects on abundance at the level of community composition were found to be different from effects on abundance of large taxonomic groupings.

Impacts
Information gained on the effects of agricultural production practices on soil organisms will aid in the development of methods of soil management that are less input-intensive and more environmentally and economically sound than current methods.

Publications

  • Barbercheck, M. 2003. Entomopathogenic Nematology (Book Review) Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 108 : Page 211
  • Millar, L. C. and M. E. Barbercheck. 2002. Effects of tillage practices on entomopathogenic nematodes in a corn agroecosystem . Biological Control 25: 1-11.
  • Mueller, J. P., M. E. Barbercheck, M. Bell, C. Brownie, N. Creamer, A. Hitt, S. Hu, L.King, H.M., Linker, F.J. Louws, S. Marlow, M. Marra, C. W. Raczkowski, D. J.Susko, and M.G. Wagger. 2002. Development and Implementation of a Long-Term Agricultural systems Study: Challenges and Opportunities. HortTechnology 12: 362-368.
  • Hummel, R., J. F. Walgenbach, M. E. Barbercheck, G. G. Kennedy, G. D. Hoyt, and C. Arellano. 2002. Effects of production practices on soil-borne entomopathogens in western North Carolina vegetable systems. Environmental Entomol. 31: 84-91.
  • Millar, L. C. and M. E. Barbercheck. 2001. Interaction between endemic and introduced entomopathogenic nematodes in corn. Biological Control. 22: 235-245.
  • Hertl, P. T., R.L. Brandenburg & M. Barbercheck. 2001. The effect of soil moisture on ovipositional behavior in the southern mole cricket Scapteriscus borellii Giglio-Tos (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae). Env. Entomol. 30: 466-473
  • Costa, S., M. Barbercheck, & G.G. Kennedy . 2001. Mortality of Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) after sub-lethal stress with Bacillus thuringiensis and subsequent exposure to Beauveria bassiana. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 77: 173-179
  • Eaton, R. J., Barbercheck, M., Buford, M., Smith, W. 2004. Effects of organic matter removal, soil compaction, and vegetation control on collembolan populations. Pedobiologia 48: 121-128.
  • Barbercheck, M. and C. Hoy. 2005. Systems Approach to Conservation Biological Control in Entomophilic Nematology (P. Grewal, R.-U. Ehlers,eds.) CABI (in press)
  • Neher, D.A., J. Wu , M.E. Barbercheck, O. Anas. 2005. Ecosystem type affects interpretation of soil nematode community measures. APPLIED SOIL ECOLOGY. # A04-26. In Press.
  • Barbercheck, M. and L. D. W. Duncan. 2004. Abiotic Factors, pp. 309-343 in Nematode Behaviour (R. Gaugler, A. Bilgrami, eds.) CABI


Progress 10/01/02 to 09/30/03

Outputs
Plots in the Farming Systems Trial and in the Tillage Unit at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems were sampled to determine the effects of production systems on soil abiotic and biotic characteristics. The samples have been processed on to microscope slides and arthropods are being identified. Total entomopathogenic nematode cumulative abundance was greater in the BMP no-till, Woodlot and Successional plots than in the BMP conventional till, organic, and pasture plots. Steinernema carpocapsae, was severely affected by soil disturbance - tillage in the organic and conventional tillage treatments, and by compaction in the pasture. Heterorhabditis bacteriophora was more abundant in the BMP conventional till than no-till plots. S. glaseri was equally abundant across all treatments. Metarhizium anisopliae was more commonly detected than Beauveria bassiana. In the pasture system M. anisopliae was detected at about 2 to 5 times the frequency as in other systems. Cumulative abundance of soil microarthropods was greater in the organic, successional and BMP no-till treatments than in the Woodlot, BMP conventional till and pasture treatments. Soil mites comprised about 70% of the arthropod community. Collembola and all other arthropods comprised about 20 and 10% of the soil arthropod community, respectively.

Impacts
Information gained on the effects of agricultural production practices on soil organisms will aid in the development of methods of soil management that are less input-intensive and more environmentally and economically sound than current methods.

Publications

  • Barbercheck, M.E., J. Wang, and C. Brownie. 2003. Adaptation of the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema carpocapsae, to insect food plant. Biological Control 27: 81 - 94.
  • Neher, D., M. E. Barbercheck, S. El-Allaf & O. Anas. 2003. Effects of Disturbance on Decomposition of Cellulose and Lignin. Applied Soil Ecology 23:165-179.


Progress 10/01/01 to 09/30/02

Outputs
Field trials were conducted at the Center for Environmental Farming systems near Goldsboro, NC. Treatments included 4 methods of transitioning to organic production practices. In soybean there was no difference in the average number of sentinel insects infected with insect-parasitic nematodes and fungi. There was a trend for the abundance of soil microarthropods to be greater in the full organic treatment compared to the other treatments. In sweetpotatoes there was no difference in average number of sentinel insects infected with insect-parasitic nematodes and fungi. There was a trend for the average number of sentinel insects infected with insect parasitic nematodes in the pesticide removal treatment to be greater than in the fertilizer removal and gradual reduction treatments. There were no significant differences among treatments for insect-pathogens overall. Microarthropods extracted from soil samples are being processed for identification. After these specimens are identified, I will determine the effect of transition treatment on soil microarthropod diversity and community composition.

Impacts
Several presentations regarding this project have been made at professional society meetings, grower meetings and schools, and at field days at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) near Goldsboro, NC.

Publications

  • Millar, L. C. and M. E. Barbercheck. 2002. Effects of tillage practices on entomopathogenic nematodes in a corn agroecosystem . Biological Control 25: 1-11. Hummel, R., J. F. Walgenbach, M. E. Barbercheck, G. G. Kennedy, G. D. Hoyt, and C. Arellano. 2002. Effects of production practices on soil-borne entomopathogens in western North Carolina vegetable systems. Environmental Entomol. 31: 84-91.
  • Mueller, J. P., M. E. Barbercheck, M. Bell, C. Brownie, N. Creamer, A. Hitt, S. Hu, L. King, H.M. Linker, F.J. Louws, S. Marlow, M. Marra, C. W. Raczkowski, D. J. Susko, and M.G. Wagger. 2002. Development and Implementation of a Long-Term Agricultural systems Study: Challenges and Opportunities. HortTechnology 12: 362-368.


Progress 10/01/00 to 09/30/01

Outputs
Field trials were continued at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems near Goldsboro, NC. In the Farming Systems Unit, a comparison of several biotic and abiotic characteristics of soil among five systems was measured. We detected three endemic nematode species - Steinernema glaseri, S. carpocapsae, and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. Entomopathogenic nematodes were detected more frequently than entomopathogenic fungi, except in the pasture rotation of the integrated crop/animal system, where we detected mostly the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. We detected Steinernema glaseri fairly consistently among all systems. H. bacteriophora was more abundant in CT, whereas S. carpocapsae was more abundant in NT. In the forestry/woodlot and successional systems, S. carpocapsae was the most abundant nematode. The detection of entomopathogenic nematodes was very low in pastures in the integrated crop/animal system and in the organic system, where tillage is used for weed control. We hypothesize that the patterns of detection of the three species is in part determined by levels of physical disturbance of the soil. S. carpocapsae is not as tolerant to disturbance as is H.bacteriophora or S. glaseri. During the initial years of the experiment, entomopathogenic fungi appear to play a less important role in these systems than nematodes, except in pasture. In the tillage unit we are investigating the interaction between entomopathogenic nematodes and non-target soil invertebrates. Results to date indicate that soil fauna responses to nematode application, both inundatively and via natural infection, are most evident at the level of individual taxa, rather than at the level of abundance and diversity. Differences in abundance and diversity of particular groups of soil fauna due to tillage (higher in no-till than conventional-till) and to time after application (higher at 24 hours than at 4 hours) were also detected. Soil mites, including members of the Cunaxidae (Acari: Prostigmata), Histiostomatidae (Acari: Astigmata), Sancassania sp. (Astigmata: Acaridae) and several families of mesostigmatid mites, were also found to exhibit particularly strong responses to the presence of nematodes. Sancassania sp. occurred in particularly large numbers and were also observed to feed on nematodes in lab assays. A marginal nematode treatment effect among several families of Oribatid mites was also observed, requiring further examination.

Impacts
Several presentations regarding this project have been made at professional society meetings, grower meetings and schools, and at field days at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) near Goldsboro, NC.

Publications

  • Millar, L. C. and M. E. Barbercheck. 2001. Interaction between endemic and introduced entomopathogenic nematodes in corn. Biological Control 22: 235-245.
  • Hummel, R., J.F. Walgenbach, M.E. Barbercheck, G.G. Kennedy, G.D. Hoyt and C. Arellano. 2001. Effects of production practices on soilborne entomopathogens in western North Carolina vegetable systems. Environ. Entomol. (in press) Hertl, P. T., R.L. Brandenburg & M. Barbercheck. 2001. The effect of soil moisture on ovipositional behavior in the southern mole cricket, Scapteriscus borellii Giglio-Tos (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae). Env. Entomol. 30: 466-473
  • Costa, S., M. Barbercheck, & G.G. Kennedy. 2001. Mortality of Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) after sub-lethal stress with Bacillusthuringiensis and subsequent exposure to Beauveria bassiana. J. Invertebr. Pathol. 77: 173-179 Costa, S., M. Barbercheck, & G.G. Kennedy. 2000. Sublethal acute andchronic exposure of Colorado Potato Beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) to the d-endotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis. J. Econ. Entomol. 93 (3) : 680-689.


Progress 10/01/99 to 09/30/00

Outputs
Field experiments were conducted to determine the effects of production practices and crop rotation on soil arthropods and soilborne insect pathogens. Soil disturbance by tillage, compared with level of sysnthetic inputs, appears to have a greater negative effect on beneficial insect pathogens and arthropods. Soil pH is highly correlated with rates of decomposition and nutrient cycling. Effects of production practices are often not detectable through calculated measures of diversity, but are detectable by effects on the community composition of soil organisms.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 10/01/98 to 09/30/99

Outputs
Field experiments were conducted to determine the effects of tillage on soil microarthropods, entomopathogenic nematodes, soilborne insect pests and corn yield. Stand loss to wireworms was greatest in no-till corn following a wheat/soybean double compared to conventionally-tilled or no-till corn following single crop soybean. The entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema carpocapsae, is more sensitive to tillage than are S. riobrave or Heterorhabditis bacteriophora.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Neher, D. and M.E. Barbercheck. 1999. Diversity and function of soil mesofauna. pp 27-47 in: Biodiversity in Agroecosystems (W. Collins and C.O. Qualset,eds.). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL


Progress 01/01/98 to 12/31/98

Outputs
Current projects include field experiments on the effects of production practices on soil microarthropods, entomopathogenic nematodes, soil physical condition and crop yield. Corn yield, soil organic matter, soil moisture,numbers of microarthropods, and numbers of insects infected by entomopathogenic nematodes were greater in no-till corn than in conventional-till corn. However, tillage favors the death of insects by endemic Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, whereas no-till favors the death of insects by endemic Steinernema carpocapsae.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Neher, D. and M. E. Barbercheck. 1999. Diversity and function of soil mesofauna. pp. 27-47 in: Biodiversity in Agroecosystems, W. Collins and C. O. Qualset, Eds. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL


Progress 01/01/97 to 12/31/97

Outputs
Current projects include field experiments on the effect of tillage on soil microarthropods, earthworms, soil physical condition and corn yield; and the effect of sustainable agriculture practices on entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi. Corn yields and water infiltration, and numbers of earthworms were greater in no-till corn than in conventional till corn. Tillage does not affect total microarthropod numbers except in drought conditions. The total number of insects infected by insect-parasitic nematodes and fungi were similar in conventional and no-till plots. However, conventional tillage favors death of insects by insect-parasitic nematodes, whereas no-till favors death of insects by entomopathogenic fungi.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • BARBERCHECK, M.E. and W.C. WARRICK JR. 1997. Evaluation of trap cropping and biological control for management of southern corn rootworm in peanuts. J. Entomol. Sci. 32:229-243.
  • EBEN, A.U. and M.E. BARBERCHECK. 1997. Host plant and substrate effects on mortality of southern corn rootworm from entomopathogenic nematodes. Biol. Contr. 8:89-96.
  • EBEN, A.U. and M.E. BARBERCHECK. 1997. Mexican diabroticites: I. Laboratory tests on host breadth of Acalymma and Diabrotica spp. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 82:53-62.
  • EBEN, A.U. and M.E. BARBERCHECK. 1997. Mexican diabroticites: II. Tests for preference of cucurbit hosts by Acalymma and Diabrotica spp. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 82:63-72.