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Three young loblolly pine plantations grown on contrasting soil types produced quantitatively and qualitatively different host material for pine tip moths during 1985 and 1986. Amounts, periodicity, and availability of soil moisture regulated internal moisture conditions within host trees. Host xylem moisture potential in conjunction with soil nutrient status governed tree growth and influenced pine tip moth infestation rates.

Pines on a sandy site exhibited the poorest growth with lowest infestation rates, indicative of low-quality hosts with little if any tolerance to damage. A clayey site produced vigorous plant growth with moderate infestation rates. The less apparent hosts appeared capable of withstanding pine tip moth attack and overcoming damage. Pines on a loamy site grew at moderate rates and received the highest infestation rates. This moderate growth indicated susceptible stand conditions.


Posted with permission of the Entomological Society of America



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