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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 12 No. 4, p. 565-568
    Received: Sept 2, 1982

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Increased Success of the Mexican Bean Beetle on Field-Grown Soybeans Exposed to Sulfur Dioxide1

  1. P. R. Hughes,
  2. A. I. Dickie and
  3. M. A. Penton2



Field-planted ‘Hodgson’ soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] were enclosed in screened cages and fumigated intermittently with SO2 by means of a tube fumigation system. The concentration of SO2 averaged 367 µg m−3 for 191 h over a 68-d period, giving a seasonal average of 42 µg m−3. One week after fumigation began, six pairs of newly emerged Mexican bean beetle adults (Epilachna varivestis) were introduced into each of the cages. In less than one generation time, the mean number of progeny from these beetles feeding on fumigated plants was 1.5 times greater than that of the beetles feeding on control plants. Larval growth was also significantly greater on the fumigated plants, especially for females. These crop × insect interactions which occur at low intermittent doses of SO2 increase the potential impact of the insects on crop production.

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