The effects of soil and plant nutrients on the oviposition preference, larval performance and spatial dynamics of Ceutorhynchus obstrictus and its parasitoids

  • Author / Creator
    Blake, Adam J.
  • The effects of nitrogen and sulfur fertilization on the oviposition, feeding preferences, and larval performance of Ceutorhynchus obstrictus (Marsham) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Brassica napus L. were examined in a series of laboratory experiments. The associations between C. obstrictus adults, larvae and parasitoids, and environmental factors including plant vigor indicators and soil and plant nutrients were evaluated within two commercial fields of B. napus in southern Alberta. Nitrogen fertilization, and sulfur fertilization at low levels of nitrogen fertilization had positive effects on oviposition preference. Nitrogen had a positive effect on larval development times and no effect on larval weights. Within one field, gravid C. obstrictus females were dissociated with high levels of plant nutrients including nitrogen. The synthesis of the lab and field experiments seems to support the plant stress and the preference-performance hypotheses. Differences in olfactory and visual cues are identified as a possible mechanism for the observed differences.

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  • Degree
    Master of Science
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    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.