The role of birds in spreading the Cylindrocladium Black Rot of peanuts
Bird utilization of twenty fields was observed at monthly intervals for one year, from May 1977 to April 1978. The 20 fields were located in 2 areas of southeastern Virginia. A total of 30 bird species were observed using the fields. The migratory and movement patterns of some of the species were determined from bird banding data. A small proportion of 6 species recovered in the study area were originally banded to the south of the study area. Fecal material, soil from feet and crop contents were taken from several bird species collected in the field and analysed for Cylindrocladium crotalariae. Soil samples from a blackbird roost in the area were also analysed for C. crotalariae. None of the samples taken showed presence of the fungus. Microsclerotia of the fungus were force fed by different methods to 3 species of captive bird (Canada Geese, Japanese Quail, Bobwhite Quail) to determine viability after passage through the gastrointestinal tract. No viable microsclerotia were detected in fecal material taken from birds force fed loose microsclerotia. A very small number (a total of 5 of 10,000 microsclerotia from 2 geese) proved to be viable after passage through Canadian Geese after being force fed microsclerotia in porous bags.