Interaction of Insect Pest Injury with other Stresses on Yield of Irrigated Rice


Jovito P. Bandong1 and James A. Litsinger2*

1International Rice Research Institute, DAPO Box 7777, Metro Manila, Philippines
21365 Jacobs Place, Dixon CA 95620 USA

corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



We found that the combined attack of whorl maggot Hydrellia philippina Ferino and defoliators (mixed populations of green semilooper Naranga aenescens Moore and green hairy caterpillar Rivula atimeta [Swinhoe]) produced a synergistic yield loss on irrigated rice, while losses from stemborer Scirpophaga incertulas (Walker) and leaffolder Cnaphalocrocis medinalis (Guenée) were additive over both rice reproductive and ripening growth stages. Losses from insect pests became accentuated with each additional non-insect pest stress (weeds, low inorganic N, low solar radiation) added reaching a plateau with two or three such stresses. This result underscores the difficulty of predicting yield loss caused by a given insect pest complex in the field as it depends significantly not only on pests, but also on their interaction with the rice production environment. The combination of non-insect pest stress that produced the greatest yield loss was high solar radiation of the dry season, weed stress, and no added inorganic N. The null hypothesis was that the wet season with its low solar radiation would have caused the greatest stress and that the high solar radiation of the dry season would have allowed greater compensation to occur. The greatest non-insect stress for the most part turned out to be the combination of the dry season and weeds with N rate only contributing in some comparisons, and sometimes at 0 or 90 kg N/ha rates. We offer several explanations for this. The combination of the dry season and weeds was particularly stressful as the greater solar radiation benefitted weeds more than rice. Only rice suffered transplanting shock and in addition insect pests fed more on rice than weeds. At times the combination of dry season, no added N, and weed-free plots gave the lowest yield. In this case the rice crop suffered most from insect pest injury, transplanting shock, and N stress. That upredicable outcomes were probably due to the countervailing forces of compensation on the one hand and the effects of multiple stresses on the other.



Yield loss trials have underscored the difficulty in predicting rice crop loss solely on insect pest density (Litsinger 2009). Walker (1975) was one of the first to point out that yield loss from insect pests occurs in association with not only other kinds of insect pests, but other kinds of pests such as weeds, diseases, nematodes, etc., and concurrently from a multitude of abiotic factors such as nutrient deficiencies, moisture stress, low solar radiation, etc., . . . . . . . . .





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