Effects of nitrogen and potassium-based fertilizers on green peach aphid abundance and arugula condition and growth


  • Rith Bal McMaster University
  • Megan Groshok
  • Yahya Jama


Both soil nutrient uptake and pest infection have a significant impact on agricultural plants. Through the use of arugula (Eruca vesicaria) and the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), this study aims to better understand the effects that the human manipulation of each these variables has on the growth and condition of a plant, as well as the effects of fertilizers on aphids. Arugula plants were treated with recommended and high levels of nitrogen and potassium-based fertilizers, as well as the absence or presence of green peach aphids and aphid count and aphid count, leaf count and arugula condition were observed. Nitrogen fertilizers resulted in an increase in aphid population from the control, while potassium fertilizers caused a decrease in aphid population. Arugula leaf count was also observed to have a positive correlation to aphid count, with a leaf count of eight producing a significantly higher aphid count than any leaf count. Furthermore, nitrogen was found to improve arugula condition, with the effect increasing with the concentration of nitrogen, although there was not a significant effect on arugula growth. Finally, the recommended dose of potassium benefits arugula growth, while the high dose harms arugula growth. Potassium was found to not have a significant effect on arugula condition.