The effect of host structure on the distribution and abundance of the island sugarcane planthopper, Eumetopina flavipes Muir, vector of Ramu stunt disease of sugarcane

Anderson, Kylie L., Sallam, Nader, and Congdon, Bradley C. (2009) The effect of host structure on the distribution and abundance of the island sugarcane planthopper, Eumetopina flavipes Muir, vector of Ramu stunt disease of sugarcane. Virus Research, 141 (2). pp. 247-257.

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Abstract

The island sugarcane planthopper, Eumetopina flavipes Muir, is the only known vector for Ramu stunt disease of sugarcane. This study examined the relationship between host plant distribution and abundance, and E. flavipes distribution, abundance and levels of population connectivity in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Torres Strait (TS) and northern peninsula area (NPA) of Australia, as a first step in establishing E.flavipes invasion potential through the TS/NPA. Results show that E. flavipes utilises a wide range of Saccharum host species in PNG and that the occupation rates and abundances differed significantly among host types. For hosts in common, the proportion of plants occupied in PNG was significantly greater than in TS/NPA. This is likely the result of greater overall host density and connectivity in PNG. E. flavipes abundance per plant did not differ significantly between the two regions suggesting a possible plant-specific abundance and/or dispersal threshold independent of location. Whilst E. flavipes presence and persistence was highly variable at some TS/NPA locations, large and stable infestations occurred down the western edge of the TS archipelago. These populations appear to link PNG to the NPA and offer a potential incursion route for Ramu stunt disease. The stability of these populations appears to be associated with the availability and persistence of host material, which in turn is significantly affected by variation in cultivation practices. In the TS/NPA, implementation of pre-emptive management of E. flavipes via cultivation techniques, such as simultaneous tip-pruning, may be an effective means of control for the pest, and would be simpler and preferable to the direct management of Ramu stunt disease should it be detected in the TS/NPA.

Item ID: 5506
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Papua New Guinea, Torres Strait, Australia, population structure, tropical biology, virus
ISSN: 1872-7492
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2009 23:51
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060308 Life Histories @ 60%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960401 Border Biosecurity (incl. Quarantine and Inspection) @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960413 Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland @ 70%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 3
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