Pest damage on Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae): the effect of seedling irrigation in Sahelian Niger

Thunes, K H and Ratnadass, A and Nikiema, A and Claude, Z (2016) Pest damage on Jatropha curcas (Euphorbiaceae): the effect of seedling irrigation in Sahelian Niger. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 36 (03). pp. 140-145. ISSN 1742-7584

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Herbivory by insects and mites on physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.) seedlings was investigated and compared with irrigation in the semi-arid Sahelian Niger, utilizing a randomized complete block design experiment. Three water treatment protocols were applied and the types of damage were recorded. Less than 5% of the seedlings died during the 10-month trial period with sap suckers causing the most damage on the surviving plants. Plants with high production of biomass and leaf cover (foliage) were most strongly positively correlated with irrigation and were also the plants that endured the highest degree of herbivory. The low dieback may indicate that defence mechanisms counteract seedling herbivory and that drought-stressed plants invest more in their defence mechanism system than vital plants.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physic nut, Jatropha curcas L., Pest damage, Irrigation, Drought stress, Sahel
Subjects: Others > Irrigation
Others > Jatropha
Others > Niger
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2017 13:59
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2017 13:59
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: We are indebted to the ICRISAT for providing research facilities, field plots and Jatropha plants.We would also like to thank Mari M. Tollefsrud and Carl G. Fossdal for commenting upon the manuscript and to Leif Aarvik for help with identification of Lepidoptera. Two anonymous referees and Hugh Cross generously improved the overall quality and shape of the manuscript. Finally, the study was financed by the Norwegian Research Council, grant number 193791 under the NORGLOBAL program.
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