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Yuefang Wang, Carol D. Robacker and S. Kristine Braman

The susceptibility of seventeen deciduous species or cultivars and one evergreen cultivar of azalea (Rhododendron spp.) to azalea lace bug (Stephanitis pyrioides Scott) was evaluated in field and laboratory experiments. Rhododendron canescens Michx. and R. periclymenoides (Michx.) Shinners were the most resistant species, followed by R. prunifolium (Small) Millais. Ratings were based on oviposition rate, percentage emergence from the egg, feeding damage, and nymphal growth rate. The most susceptible genotypes were TNLV1, R. oblongifolium (Small) Millais, R. alabamense Rehder, R. serrulatum (Small) Millais, R. viscosum (L.) Torr., `Buttercup', and `My Mary'. Leaf water content and leaf pubescence were significantly different among taxa. However, leaf water content was not significantly correlated with azalea lace bug performance, and insufficient evidence was available to conclude that leaf pubescence was involved in azalea lace bug resistance.

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Jeffrey H. Gillman, Michael A. Dirr and S. Kristine Braman

Buddleia taxa were assessed for two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) resistance using a leaf disk bioassay, a novel shell vial bioassay and a field trial. Leaf pubescence and chemistry were examined for their role in two-spotted spider mite resistance. Results from bioassays and field sampling identified highly resistant taxa including B. fallowiana Balif. `Alba' and B. davidii × B. fallowiana Franch. `Cornwall Blue' as well as susceptible taxa including B. davidii Franch. `African Queen' and B. lindleyana Fort. ex Lindl. `Gloster'. The shell vial bioassay was an accurate predictor of field resistance to spider mite. Leaf pubescence was quantified by calculating the collective length of trichome branches per square millimeter of leaf surface area [effective branch length (EBL)]. EBL values ranged from 39 to 162 mm·mm-2 of leaf surface area among Buddleia taxa. Resistance was positively correlated with increased pubescence. Removal of pubescence by peeling resulted in increased oviposition of two-spotted spider mites. Exposing female two-spotted spider mites to a methylene chloride extract of B. davidii × B. fallowiana `Cornwall Blue' using a modified shell vial bioassay resulted in reduced oviposition and a methylene chloride extract of B. davidii `African Queen' resulted in no difference in oviposition when compared with a control. While pubescence is the best indicator of resistance to the two-spotted spider mite in Buddleia taxa, it is possible that defensive compounds are involved.

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William E. Klingeman, Gretchen V. Pettis and S. Kristine Braman

Although lawn care and landscape maintenance professionals appear increasingly willing to use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies and adopt nonchemical pest management alternatives into management practices, the opinions of landscape management professionals have not been assessed regarding anticipated influences of increased use of insect- and disease-resistant ornamental plants on grounds management activities, client satisfaction, or business profitability. Lawn care and landscape professionals are well positioned to implement many IPM practices into landscape use and to educate their consumer clients about ecologically sustainable landscape designs and beneficial management techniques. Conversely, if some of these professionals are unwilling to advocate installation of ornamental host plants that are resistant to certain pests or diseases, market success of such plants can be limited. To better understand perceptions of green industry professionals related to these issues, we surveyed lawn care and landscape business owners and employees to categorize their perceptions about insect- or disease-resistant ornamental plants and qualified their beliefs in relation to both personal and firm demographics. A total of 391 completed surveys were received from Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia participants. Data analyses revealed that lawn care and landscape maintenance professionals largely believe that insect- and disease-resistant plants will benefit their businesses and should result in increased client satisfaction. Only ≈4% of respondents stated concern that business would incur at least some negative effect if pest-resistant plants were made more available or used in greater numbers in client landscapes. Among all respondents, there was an average expectation that 60% or more of plants within a given client's landscape would have to be resistant to insect pests or plant diseases to result in a decrease in company profits. If insect- and disease-resistant ornamental plants were used more widely in client landscapes, respondents expected that the required number of site visits to client landscapes would remain unchanged and that moderate reductions in insecticide and fungicide use would result.

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Wayne W. Hanna, S. Kristine Braman and Brian M. Schwartz

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Wayne W. Hanna, S. Kristine Braman and Brian M. Schwartz

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Wayne W. Hanna, S. Kristine Braman and Brian M. Schwartz

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Bethany A. Harris, S. Kristine Braman and Svoboda V. Pennisi

Insects provide ecosystem services, such as pollination and biological control. Additionally, flowering ornamental plant species have the potential to support beneficial insect communities, such as pollinating bees, wasps, and predatory plant bugs. We conducted visual observations and sampled via sweep nets to assess the potential of flowering ornamentals to act as a conservation resource for pollinators. Hoverflies (family: Syrphidae), small bees [Lasioglossum (dialictus) imitatum Smith and Halictus ligatus Say], skippers (family: Hesperiidae), predatory plant bugs (family Miridae), and parasitic wasps were frequent visitors to the specially designed Butterfly and Conservation Gardens. Agastache (Pursh) Kuntze ‘Black Adder’ and Celosia spicata L. were the most frequently visited by pollinators among 74 plant taxa. The results obtained will be useful in formulating recommendations on planting the best species for the purpose of attracting pollinators as well as for conservation purposes.

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Wojciech J. Florkowski, Carol D. Robacker, Joyce G. Latimer and S. Kristine Braman

A survey indicated that the landscape maintenance and lawn care industry of the Atlanta metro area was localized in densely populated counties with a high concentration of commercial activity and residential housing. A relatively young age and limited size of most of the firms suggested a lack of barriers to entering the industry, which was supported by gross sales and equipment owned by surveyed companies. Most firms generated no more than $100,000 in sales in 1993 and owned equipment valued at less than $25,000. Most residential accounts were under 10 acres.

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Yuefang Wang, S. Kristine Braman, Carol D. Robacker, Joyce G. Latimer and Karl E. Espelie

Epicuticular lipids were extracted from the foliage of six deciduous and one evergreen azalea genotypes (Rhododendron sp.) and identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The relationship of leaf-surface lipid composition with measures of resistance to azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides Scott, was evaluated. Each genotype had a distinct epicuticular lipid composition. The major surface lipid components from all test taxa were n-alkanes and triterpenoids. In the most resistant genotypes [R. canescens Michaux and R. periclymenoides (Michaux) Shinners] ursolic acid, n-hentriacontane, and n-nonacosane were the most abundant epicuticular lipids. The lipids present in largest proportion among all susceptible deciduous genotypes tested were α-amyrin, β-amyrin, and n-nonacosane. The proportions of the lipid components from the same plant of each genotype varied between spring and fall samples. Among classes of lipids, n-alkanes, n-1-alkanols, and triterpenoids had significant correlations with azalea lace bug behavior on host plants. Among individual components, heptadecanoic acid, n-hentriacontane, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid and one unknown compound (with major mass spectra 73/179/192/284/311) were significantly negatively correlated with host plant susceptibility to azalea lace bug, as measured by oviposition, leaf area damaged, egg and nymphal development, and nymphal survivorship. Triacontanol, α-amyrin, β-amyrin, and three unknowns were significantly positively correlated with host plant susceptibility. Acceptance or rejection by azalea lace bug to a particular plant may be mediated by a balance of positively and negatively interpreted sensory signals evoked by plant chemicals. This study indicated that the high levels of resistance observed in R. canescens and R. periclymenoides may be due to the lesser amount or the absence of attractants and stimulants for feeding or oviposition.

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Jeffrey H. Gillman, Mark W. Rieger, Michael A. Dirr and S. Kristine Braman

Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of drought stress on the susceptibility of Buddleia davidii Franch. `Pink Delight' to the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch). In the first experiment, drought stress was imposed by withholding water until predawn xylem pressure potential fell below -1 MPa. Shoot growth was 75% less in drought-stressed than in nonstressed plants. Mite population densities were not affected, but noninfested leaf area was 14% higher, and degree of mite damage was lower, in nonstressed plants. Evidently, the greater amount of new growth in nonstressed plants leads to lower spider mite densities by diluting populations. In a second experiment, nonstressed B. davidii `Pink Delight' plants were watered every 1 to 2 days and drought-stressed plants were watered every 3 days. Spider mite populations were monitored by sampling newly expanded and mature foliage. Mite populations on mature foliage were not affected by stress, but stressed plants grew less and had larger spider mite populations on their newly expanded foliage than did nonstressed plants.