Canadian Journal of Plant Science (2005) 85, 213-224

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J.J. Soroka and B.D. Gossen (2005)
Phytophagous arthropods and silvertop levels associated with post-harvest residue treatments in three turfgrass species grown for seed
Canadian Journal of Plant Science 85 (1), 213-224
Abstract: Silvertop, which is characterized by whitish, completely sterile seed heads produced on green tillers, is a common symptom in many perennial grasses. A 3-yr study of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra subsp. rubra) grown for seed production was conducted at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to investigate the cause(s) of silvertop, the impact of residue management strategies on silvertop incidence, and the impact of silvertop on seed yield. Three residue management practices were applied in the fall of the first harvest year and again the next fall, as follows: (i) burned after harvest; (ii) clipped to 1-2 cm in height and the residue removed; or (iii) mowed to 20 cm and the residue retained. Arthropods in each plot were collected weekly from May until July by sweep sampling, counted, and identified to family level or lower, and the incidence of seed heads with and without silvertop were assessed. The majority of arthropods were thrips, leafhoppers, plant bugs, mites, or grass-dwelling flies. Grass species and residue treatment strongly affected the number of reproductive tillers and levels of silvertop. Levels of silvertop were lowest in creeping bentgrass in all 3 yr of the study, while they were similar for Kentucky bluegrass and creeping red fescue. Mown plots had fewer reproductive tillers, fewer heathy seed heads, and higher levels of silvertop than burned or clipped plots. However, arthropod species composition was generally similar across grass species and residue treatments. This indicates that a specific arthropod taxon may not be a critical factor in silvertop expression. The relationship between the number and composition of arthropods found and incidence of silvertop is discussed.
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Database assignments for author(s): Juliana J. Soroka, Bruce D. Gossen

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Agrostis stolonifera (weed) Grasses/turf/rangeland