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Influence of drought on interactions between Rhopalosiphum padi and ground dwelling predators - A mesocosm study

Njue, Martin and Muturi, Phyllis and Nyaga, Justine M. and Jonsson, Mattias (2021). Influence of drought on interactions between Rhopalosiphum padi and ground dwelling predators - A mesocosm study. Journal of Applied Entomology
[Research article]

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Abstract

Climate change will lead to extreme droughts, but it is difficult to predict how this will affect crop pests. In particular, it is unclear how interactions between natural enemies and pests will be influenced. In the field, bird cherry-oat aphids (Rhopalosiphum padi (L.)) have been observed to reside close to, or below the ground surface during dry conditions. We hypothesized that this will increase the niche overlap between R. padi and ground-dwelling predators such as carabid beetles and wolf spiders and that aphid numbers will therefore decline during dry conditions. A fully factorial mesocosm experiment was conducted testing the combined effects of drought and predator presence on aphid position and abundance on barley (Hordeum vulgare) plants. In support of our hypothesis, we found that (a) aphids moved below ground during dry conditions, (b) predators reduced aphid numbers, but only during dry conditions, and (c) predators reduced the proportion of aphids below ground in dry conditions. This increased predation effect during dry conditions was, however, compensated for by a corresponding increase in aphid performance on the plants and so the net effect of drought on aphid numbers ended up being neutral. Thus, pests can be affected by drought in complex ways via a combination top-down and bottom-up mechanisms. Predicting how pest populations will be affected by droughts in the future is thus a formidable research challenge.

Authors/Creators:Njue, Martin and Muturi, Phyllis and Nyaga, Justine M. and Jonsson, Mattias
Title:Influence of drought on interactions between Rhopalosiphum padi and ground dwelling predators - A mesocosm study
Series Name/Journal:Journal of Applied Entomology
Year of publishing :2021
Number of Pages:5
Publisher:WILEY
ISSN:0931-2048
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:biological control, bottom-up regulation, climate change, niche overlap, plant water stress, top-down regulation
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112225
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112225
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1111/jen.12904
Web of Science (WoS)000655835400001
ID Code:26183
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:22 Nov 2021 09:25
Metadata Last Modified:22 Nov 2021 09:31

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