The spatial dynamics of pollen beetles in relation to inflorescence growth stage of oilseed rape: implications for trap crop strategies

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Frearson, D. J. T., Ferguson, A. W., Campbell, J. M. and Williams, I. H. 2005. The spatial dynamics of pollen beetles in relation to inflorescence growth stage of oilseed rape: implications for trap crop strategies. Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata. 116 (1), pp. 21-29.

AuthorsFrearson, D. J. T., Ferguson, A. W., Campbell, J. M. and Williams, I. H.
Abstract

Semi-field-scale arrays of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) (Brassicaceae) plants were used to observe the development of distributions of pollen beetles (Meligethes aeneus Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in a simulated trap crop system where inflorescence growth stage alone was used to manipulate the pest. Over two successive years, pairs of 1 m spaced square arrays of 100 glasshouse-grown plants were placed 40 m apart in the field in May, and were subject to natural infestation by pollen beetles. The test plot of each pair had a simulated trap crop, with an outer row of plants at early flowering stage intended to protect more susceptible inner plants at late bud stage, and the control plot had all plants at the late-bud stage, simulating a standard crop situation. Pollen beetles were counted daily on each plant for 10-13 days. The spatio-temporal development of plot infestation was analysed in relation to the distribution of racemes in bud and raceme in flowers using Spatial Analysis by Distance IndicEs (SADIE), and tests of edge and centre distribution. Inflorescence growth stage characteristics were shown to be important in determining the spatial distributions of pollen beetles. In control plots, the numbers of racemes in bud and in flower were never edge or centre distributed. In test plots, racemes in flower were always edge distributed, and racemes in bud began edge distributed and became centre distributed. Pollen beetle numbers were usually spatially associated with the abundance of racemes in bud and/or in flower. In control plots, pollen beetles were neither edge nor centre distributed, but in test plots they maintained a significant edge distribution for 7-10 days. At the end of the experiments, females were more centre distributed in the test plots than males, and were more closely associated with racemes with buds, whereas males were more associated with racemes with flowers. In early flowering stage plants, the number of racemes in flowers were a good indicator of the abundance of racemes in buds, but this relationship was lost as flowering progressed. Although flowering racemes provide strong cues for immigrating pollen beetles, the abundance of buds may be a more important determinant of residence time, particularly for females, and is therefore a critical determinant of trap crop effectiveness.

KeywordsEntomology
Year of Publication2005
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata
Journal citation116 (1), pp. 21-29
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/j.1570-7458.2005.00299.x
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or codeSEF
ISSN00138703
0013-8703
PublisherWiley

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