The Water Balance of Plants as a Factor in their Resistance to Insect Pests

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As a result of a review of the available evidence with regard to the effect of climatic and soil conditions on the distribution of the Dysdercus sp., the hypothesis was put forward by one of us (E. P. M.) in 1925–26 that a disturbed water content, from whatever cause, rendered the cotton plant more susceptible to the attack of sap-feeding insect pests, such as various species of thrips. Later it was found that this hypothesis appeared also to hold true in the case of certain sap-feeding insect pests of sugar-cane, notably the froghopper Tomaspis saccharina Dist. So far as cotton is concerned, the hypothesis has since been confirmed by observations made in the field in California.

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