Title page for ETD etd-11072008-063502

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Kaakeh, Walid
URN etd-11072008-063502
Title The effect of spirea aphid (Homoptera: aphididae) feeding and nitrogen fertilization on the growth of young apple trees, with comparisons to apple aphid
Degree PhD
Department Entomology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pfeiffer, Douglas G. Committee Chair
Brown, Mark W. Committee Member
Kok, Loke T. Committee Member
Marini, Richard P. Committee Member
Pienkowski, Robert L. Committee Member
  • Apple-aphis
Date of Defense 1989-06-03
Availability restricted
The overall goal of this research was to determine the effects of spirea aphid, Aphis spiraecola Patch, feeding and nitrogen fertilization on net photosynthesis (Pn), leaf chlorophyll content and greenneess, growth, dry matter accumulation, and carbohydrate concentrations of young apple trees, with comparisons to apple aphid, Aphis pomi DeGeer. Trees were artificially infested and grown in an unheated greenhouse with screened ends.

The spirea aphid responded differently to various nitrogen treatments. Aphid density increased at a faster rate on trees receiving higher nitrogen application. The leaf nitrogen concentration increased significantly and linearly with increasing amount of urea application in both infested and control leaves. Also, a significant difference in leaf nitrogen concentration was found at each urea application rate between infested and control leaves.

Spirea aphid feeding and sooty mold accumulations caused significant reductions in photosynthetic rates, leaf chlorophyll content, and greenness. Pn increased linearly with increasing chlorophyll content and greenness; nitrogen rates caused an increase in Pn and leaf greenness. Aphid-days accumulations were strongly correlated to Pn and greenness at each nitrogen rate applied. Accumulation of callose at the phloem sieve plates in response to spirea aphid feeding occurred but to a lesser degree than from other aphids reported on apple and pecan leaves.

Accumulation of fresh and dry weights in all tree parts (leaves, lateral shoots, trunk, rootstock, and roots) during the growing season were affected by both spirea aphid and nitrogen fertilization. The spirea aphid reduced accumulation of fresh and dry weights in all tree partitions when trees were harvested at the end of the first growing season. These reductions were still lower than the control when trees were harvested at the ten-leaf stage the following spring. The spirea aphid caused a significant reduction in lateral shoot growth at the end of the growing season and at the ten-leaf stage. Fresh and dry weights of all tree partitions tended to increase with increasing rates of nitrogen.

The percentage and the amount of nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) in all tree partitions were reduced by spirea aphid feeding and were positively related to nitrogen rate. At the ten-leaf stage in the second season, similar results were obtained.

Development of spirea aphid and apple aphid was similar on trees fertilized with a moderate rate of nitrogen. Pn and leaf greenness declined to a similar extent with accumulated aphid-days, for both aphid species. Aphid species did not affect any of tree growth or NSC accumulation.

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