Interaction of Euonymus scale (Homoptera: Diaspididae) feeding damage and severe water stress on leaf abscission and growth of Euonymus fortunei

S. D. Cockfield, D. A. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rooted cuttings of Euonymus fortunei were grown in a 2x2 factorial design experiment with or without euonymus scales and/or water stress. Infested plants and water stressed plants abscised leaves whereas uninfested, unstressed plants did not. There was significant interaction between scale infestation and water stress, with a synergistic effect on leaf abscission. Both scale infestation and water stress reduced the root weight, but there was no resulting change in the root/shoot ratio. Naturally infested leaves on plants growing outdoors had a higher solute potential (ψs) and a lower pressure potential (ψp) than did uninfested leaves with the same water potential (ψW). Infested leaves may therefore be more prone to wilting. However, scale-damaged leaves also have increased diffusive resistance and lowered transpiration rates, suggesting that scales impair normal function of guard cells. The possible contribution of these factors to the heightened susceptibility of infested leaves to abscission following water stress is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalOecologia
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1986

Keywords

  • Abscission
  • Diaspididae
  • Drought
  • Scale
  • Water stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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