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Herbivorous Insects Diversity At Miscanthus × Giganteus In Ukraine

Tatyana Stefanovska, Valentina Pidlisnyuk, Edwin Lewis, Anatoliy Gorbatenko

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Abstract Miscanthus × giganteus is considered as a perspective energy crop for biomass production in Ukraine where its commercial production has been observed. The herbivorous pest may pose a risk of yield reduction when an energy crop is growing on monoculture. The herbivorous diversity, species composition and potential damage associated with growing M. × giganteus were studied on seven experimental sites at three locations in Ukraine. The different life stages of herbivorous insects from seven orders representing thirteen families were found on M. × giganteus during the herbivorous survey and most of the insects had a pest status. Research indicated that crop was an alternate host for key cereal pest the Hessian fly Mayetiola destructor (Say) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). A comparative analysis of the biodiversity of herbivorous insects across research locations was done using statistical analysis. It was found that site location played a significant role in the level of biodiversity and an increase in the insect’s herbivores diversity was associated with the type of researched lands. The massive scale commercial use of M. × giganteus should take into account a responsible consideration of the benefits and risks associated with that crop in order to protect agroecosystems.