Abundance of arthropods on the branch tips of the invasive plant, Rosa multiflora (Rosaceae)

Laura C. Jesse, Kirk A. Moloney, John J. Obrycki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Rosa multiflora Thunb. (Rosaceae) is an invasive species in the USA, where it grows in pastures and wooded areas. A disease of unknown etiology, rose rosette disease (RRD), infects R. multiflora and other Rosa spp. The goal of this research was to determine the effects of habitat and disease symptoms on the abundance of Phyllocoptes fructiphilus Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae), the presumed vector of RRD, and other arthropods on R. multiflora. We collected branch tips from healthy R. multiflora plants growing in the sun and shade, as well as RRD-infected R. multiflora growing in the sun. The samples were collected from June 2002 to April 2004 from three sites in Iowa, USA. The samples were collected approximately every 2 weeks during the summer, monthly during the fall, and once during early spring. The fall samples were only taken from RRD-infected plants because they retain leaves throughout the winter. We found that P. fructiphilus was present on diseased and healthy R. multiflora growing in the sun and on healthy R. multiflora growing as understory plants under a tree canopy (shaded), but the greatest numbers were observed on the diseased plants growing in the sun. Several other mite species, both predatory and phytophagous, Chaetosiphon sp. aphids, and the thrips species, Frankliniella exigua Hood and Neohydatothrips variabilis Beach, occur in the same plant microhabitat as P. fructiphilus. This is the first study to document the presence of additional arthropods in the same microhabitat (branch tips) as P. fructiphilus. Future research needs to isolate and identify the causal agent of RRD so it can be confirmed that, of the many arthropods feeding on R. multiflora, only P. fructiphilus vectors RRD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-211
Number of pages8
JournalWeed Biology and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Biological control
  • Invasive species
  • Non-target effects
  • Rosa multiflora
  • Rose rosette disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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