Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Matthew E. O'Neal


The composition and complexity of agro-ecosystems are important factors influencing the population dynamics of insect pests. Understanding these interactions may improve our ability to predict the spatial occurrence of pest outbreaks, thereby informing scouting and management decisions. In 2012 and 2013, two concurrent studies were conducted to examine the relationship between landscapes surrounding Iowa soybean, Glycine max [L.] Merrill, fields and two polyphagous pest groups; Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica Newman (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae), and stink bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Population densities were monitored in soybean within simple and complex agricultural landscapes to determine the response of these pests to landscape complexity. Results revealed P. japonica populations were significantly greater in soybean fields within complex landscapes and were positively associated with area of uncultivated land. The specific compositions of surrounding landscapes were also analyzed to determine the landscape features that explain the greatest variation in P. japonica and stink bug population densities. Results suggested that the area of wooded and grass habitat around fields accounted for the greatest variation in P. japonica populations; however, no discernable relationships were observed with stink bug populations. Sampling also sought to survey the community of stink bugs present in Iowa soybean. The community was predominantly comprised of stink bugs in the genus Euschistus, comprising a combined 91.04% of all captures. Additional species included the green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare (Say) (4.48%); spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris (Say) (2.99%); and red shouldered stink bug, Thyanta custator accerra (McAtee) (1.49%). Future work will be needed to determine if the landscape effects on P. japonica in soybean reported here are representative of other similar polyphagous pests of soybean and if they extend to other host plants as well. Furthermore, additional comprehensive surveys will be needed to better characterize the existing community of stink bug species present in Iowa field crops.


Copyright Owner

Cody Daniel Kuntz



File Format


File Size

109 pages

Included in

Entomology Commons