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Aphid-infested beans divert ant attendance from the rosy apple aphid in apple-bean intercropping

Pålsson, Joakim and Porcel, Mario and Frimodt Hansen, Mette and Offenberg, Joachim and Nardin, Tiziana and Larcher, Roberto and Tasin, Marco (2020). Aphid-infested beans divert ant attendance from the rosy apple aphid in apple-bean intercropping. Scientific Reports. 10
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Abstract

Ecological intensification of cropping systems aims at restoring multi-functionality while supporting current productivity levels. Intercropping is a form of ecological intensification involving ecological processes beneficial to farmers that do not take place in monocultures. Thus, it represents a practical approach to decrease the use of synthetic inputs such as insecticides in cultivated systems. Whereas insecticide reduction via intercropping-facilitated suppression of aphids is reported in literature, the majority of published studies focussed on herbaceous crops. Thus, the effect of intercropping on aphid populations of cultivated trees remains largely unaddressed. In this study we hypothesized that intercropping a specific companion plant within perennial crops would divert ant attendance from an aphid attacking the crop to another aphid feeding on the newly introduced plant, reducing aphid damage on the crop. We tested our hypothesis in the system of apple (Malus domestica Borkhausen), the rosy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea Passerini) and the black garden ant (Lasius niger L.). Bean plants (Vicia faba) with the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae Scopoli) were intercropped within apple trees inoculated with D. plantaginea. We measured ant attendance, aphid development and survival as well as honeydew composition on both plant species through semi-field and field experiments. The majority of ants chose to attend A. fabae over D. plantaginea in the semi-field experiment with potted plants. In the orchard, a larger majority of scouts were scored on A. fabae over D. plantaginea. A higher number of D. plantaginea colonies remained active in the apple control, whilst they were almost eradicated by intercropping. Although chemical analyses of honeydew disclosed differences in the carbohydrate and amino acid profiles between aphid species, the difference in honeydew composition did not explain the preference for A. fabae. Ants did not discriminate between the two honeydew mimics both in laboratory and field bioassays. Our results showed the potential of intercropping apple trees with beans as a method to reduce ant attendance and thus colony survival. We propose that intercropping represents a bottom-up approach towards ecological intensification of perennial crops. Together with other ecosystem-based measures such as habitat management, intercropping should be considered when planning ecosystem redesign to increase biological control of pests.

Authors/Creators:Pålsson, Joakim and Porcel, Mario and Frimodt Hansen, Mette and Offenberg, Joachim and Nardin, Tiziana and Larcher, Roberto and Tasin, Marco
Title:Aphid-infested beans divert ant attendance from the rosy apple aphid in apple-bean intercropping
Series Name/Journal:Scientific Reports
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:10
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
ISSN:2045-2322
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106822
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106822
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1038/s41598-020-64973-7
Web of Science (WoS)000540568100002
ID Code:21942
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Plant Protection Biology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:03 Feb 2021 03:43
Metadata Last Modified:03 Feb 2021 06:01

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