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Document Type

Peer-Review Article

Abstract

Responses of young non-fruiting grapevines, Vitis labrusca (L.) var. ‘Niagara’, to defoliation were examined at two stages of vine growth when beetles typically infest vineyards. In the first experiment, vines were caged and subjected to two weeks of feeding by 0, 10, 20, or 40 adult Macrodactylus subspinosus Fabricius (Scarabaeidae: Macrodactylini) during bloom, or to the same range of adult Popillia japonica Newman (Scarabaeidae: Anomalini) during veráison, when berries begin changing color. Leaf area removed increased with beetle density, but less than 1% of the leaf area was removed at the highest density of M. subspinosus, and less than 7% at the highest density of P. japonica. Vine growth measurements taken during the year of injury and prior to bloom during the following season indicated no significant impacts of this leaf injury on vegetative growth. In the second experiment, mechanical injury was induced by removing 0, 10, 20, or 30% of the total leaf area of every fully expanded leaf at bloom or veráison. A significant effect of mechanical injury at bloom was found on cane diameters when measured at veráison, indicating that a carbon source limitation was induced in these vines. By the time of leaf loss, cane diameters were not significantly different across treatments, indicating that vines may have been able to compensate for the earlier defoliation. Injury at veráison had no significant effect on vine growth parameters. These results suggest that young ‘Niagara’ vines are able to tolerate foliar injury far exceeding that caused by two weeks of exposure to 40 beetles of either species. Surveys of Michigan vineyards containing different grape varieties indicated that although both beetle species could be found in high abundance, leaf injury levels were low. The implications for management of beetle foliar herbivory in vineyards are discussed.

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Entomology Commons

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