Overwintering Sites (overwintering + site)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Population dynamics of cereal aphids: influence of a shared predator and weather

T. W. Leslie
Abstract 1,Aphid populations may show strong year-to-year fluctuations, but questions remain regarding the dominance of factors that cause this variation, especially the role of natural enemies. To better understand the dynamics of aphid species that occur as pests in cereals, we investigated the relative influence of top-down control by a predator and weather (temperature and precipitation) on population fluctuations of three cereal aphid species. 2,From 1987 to 2005, populations of Metopolophium dirhodum, Sitobion avenae and Rhopalosiphum padi in insecticide-free stands of winter wheat were monitored in the Praha-Ruzyné region of the Czech Republic. Densities of an aphidophagous predator, the ladybeetle Coccinella septempunctata, were recorded from an overwintering site in the landscape. Weather was quantified using historical records. 3,A significant bottom-up effect of densities of aphids on those of C. septempunctata was found, but evidence of direct top-down regulation of aphids by C. septempunctata was only significant in the case of R. padi. There was no significant periodicity in the dynamics of the aphid or C. septempunctata, suggesting that there was no clear predator-prey cycle. Combinations of C. septempunctata and weather variables could be used to explain M. dirhodum and R. padi per capita rate of change. There were also indications that weather directly affected peak density of M. dirhodum. 4,We conclude that regional estimates of C. septempunctata densities are not sufficient to determine whether aphid population dynamics are driven by predator,prey interactions. Feasibility of time series analysis as an investigative tool in aphid population dynamics studies is discussed. [source]

Associations between host migration and the prevalence of a protozoan parasite in natural populations of adult monarch butterflies

Sonia M. Altizer
Summary 1. Monarch butterflies Danaus plexippus (L.) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) are susceptible to infection by the obligate protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (McLaughlin and Myers) (Apicomplexa: Neogregarinida). Because monarchs form resident and migratory populations in different parts of the world, this host,parasite system provides the opportunity to examine how variation in parasite prevalence relates to host movement patterns. 2. Parasite prevalence was evaluated using 14 790 adult monarchs captured between 1968 and 1997. Comparison of three populations in North America indicated that parasite prevalence is associated negatively with host dispersal distances. A continuously breeding, nonmigratory population in southern Florida showed high prevalence (over 70% heavily infected). The western population migrates moderate distances to overwintering sites on the Pacific Coast and has intermediate prevalence (30% heavily infected). The eastern migratory population, which travels the longest distance to Mexican overwintering sites, has exhibited less than 8% infection throughout the past 30 years. 3. Variation in parasite loads within North American migratory populations was investigated to determine whether the prevalence of heavy infection and average parasite loads declined during migration or overwintering. Average parasite loads of summer-breeding adults in western North America decreased with increasing distance from overwintering sites. This suggests that heavily infected monarchs are less likely to remigrate long distances in spring. No differences in the frequency of heavily infected adults were found among eastern or western North American monarchs throughout the overwintering period, however, suggesting that this parasite does not affect overwintering mortality. 4. Changes in the prevalence of monarchs with low parasite loads demonstrate that spore transfer occurs during migration and overwintering, possibly when adult butterflies contact each other as a result of their clustering behaviour. 5. This study of geographical and temporal variation in O. elektroscirrha among populations of D. plexippus demonstrates the potential role of seasonal migration in mediating interactions between hosts and parasites, and suggests several mechanisms through which migratory behaviour may influence parasite prevalence. [source]

Life-history traits of the edible stinkbug, Encosternum delegorguei (Hem., Tessaratomidae), a traditional food in southern Africa

C. M. Dzerefos
Abstract Little is known of the life history of the edible stinkbug, Encosternum delegorguei, although it is an important food for people living in north-eastern South Africa and southern Zimbabwe. The present study aimed to establish key elements influencing long-term sustainable harvesting. Outdoor insectaries of two sizes were constructed to observe: daily activity, utilization of plants, copulation, oviposition, eclosion and survival from May 2006 to February 2007. The rest of the annual life cycle was observed in the field in March and April 2007 and identified as univoltine. In autumn (May) E. delegorguei entered reproductive diapause and aggregated within the escarpment mist-belt where it survived the winter on vapour condensation without feeding. Monthly dissections showed that abdominal fat content was highest in June. In spring (September) E. delegorguei fed on sap of the trees Combretum imberbe, Combretum molle, Peltophorum africanum, to a lesser degree on Dodonaea viscosa and the grass Pennisetum clandestinum. Copulation occurred in October and November. An overall total of 1752 E. delegorguei eggs were laid by 103 females and incubation time averaged 18.7 ± 9.0 days (range 7,37) at outdoor temperature ranging from 11°C to 25°C. The mean number of eggs in 64 egg masses was 27.4 ± 13.9 (range of 2,56 eggs). Shade cloth (68.8%) was the most commonly used substrate for depositing eggs followed by P. clandestinum (12.5%), C. imberbe (7.8%), P. africanum (6.3%), D. viscosa (1.6%), C. molle (1.6%) and C. erythrophyllum (1.6%). The parasitoid wasp, Anastatus sp. (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae) infected 57% of the eggs deposited by captive females. Availability of food plants in combination with parasitoid threat may be a reason for seasonal migration between overwintering sites within the mist-belt and summer oviposition sites. Diminishing harvests could be attributed to fuelwood harvesting of food plants in the summer sites. [source]