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Abundance, dispersion and parasitism of the stem borer Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in maize in the humid forest zone of southern Cameroon

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007


A. Chabi-Olaye
Affiliation:
Institute of Plant Diseases and Plant Protection, Herrenhäuser Str. 2, 30419, Hannover, Germany International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Humid Forest Ecoregional Centre, Messa, 2008 Yaoundé, Cameroon
C. Nolte
Affiliation:
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Humid Forest Ecoregional Centre, Messa, 2008 Yaoundé, Cameroon
F. Schulthess
Affiliation:
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, PO Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
C. Borgemeister
Affiliation:
Institute of Plant Diseases and Plant Protection, Herrenhäuser Str. 2, 30419, Hannover, Germany
Corresponding

Abstract

This study was conducted in the humid forest zone of Cameroon, in 2002 and 2003. The main objective was to investigate the effects of intercropping on infestation levels and parasitism of the noctuid maize stem borer Busseola fusca Fuller. Two trials were planted per year, one during the long and one during the short rainy season. Maize monocrops were compared with maize/legume or maize/cassava intercrops in two spatial arrangements: maize on alternate hills or in alternate rows. Spatial analyses showed that the stemborer egg batches were regularly dispersed in the maize monocrop and aggregated in the intercrops, as indicated by b, the index of dispersion of Taylor's power law. Depending on the crop association and planting pattern, intercrops reduced the percentage of plants with stem borer eggs by 47.4–58.4% and egg densities by 41.2–54.5% compared to monocropped maize. Consequently, larval densities were 44.4–61.5% lower in intercrops compared to monocrops. Intercropping maize with non-host plants did not affect larval parasitism. Up to two-fold higher levels of egg parasitism by scelionid Telenomus spp. were recorded in inter- compared to monocrops during the short rainy seasons of 2002 and 2003. No differences were found among the mixed cropping treatments and parasitism was lower during the long compared to the short rainy seasons. It was proposed that differences in levels of parasitism were due to density dependence effects rather than the effect of the presence of non-host plants in the system.


Type
Review Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2005

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Abundance, dispersion and parasitism of the stem borer Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in maize in the humid forest zone of southern Cameroon
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Abundance, dispersion and parasitism of the stem borer Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in maize in the humid forest zone of southern Cameroon
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Abundance, dispersion and parasitism of the stem borer Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in maize in the humid forest zone of southern Cameroon
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