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Cursorial spiders retard initial aphid population growth at low densities in winter wheat

Birkhofer, Klaus LU ; Gavish-Regev, E.; Endlweber, K.; Lubin, Y.D.; Von Berg, K.; Wise, David H. and Scheu, Stefan (2008) In Bulletin of Entomological Research 98(3). p.249-255
Abstract
Generalist predators contribute to pest suppression in agroecosystems. Spider communities, which form a substantial fraction of the generalist predator fauna in arable land, are characterized by two functional groups: web-building and cursorial (non-web-building) species. We investigated the relative impact of these two functional groups on a common pest (Sitobion avenae, Aphididae) in wheat by combining a molecular technique that revealed species-specific aphid consumption rates with a factorial field experiment that analyzed the impact, separately and together, of equal densities of these two spider functional groups on aphid population growth. Only cursorial spiders retarded aphid population growth in our cage experiment, but this... (More)
Generalist predators contribute to pest suppression in agroecosystems. Spider communities, which form a substantial fraction of the generalist predator fauna in arable land, are characterized by two functional groups: web-building and cursorial (non-web-building) species. We investigated the relative impact of these two functional groups on a common pest (Sitobion avenae, Aphididae) in wheat by combining a molecular technique that revealed species-specific aphid consumption rates with a factorial field experiment that analyzed the impact, separately and together, of equal densities of these two spider functional groups on aphid population growth. Only cursorial spiders retarded aphid population growth in our cage experiment, but this effect was limited to the initial aphid-population growth period and low-to-intermediate aphid densities. The molecular analysis, which used aphid-specific primers to detect aphid DNA in predator species, detected the highest proportion of aphid-consuming individuals in two cursorial spiders: the foliage-dwelling Xysticus cristatus (Thomisidae) and the ground-active Pardosa palustris (Lycosidae). The results suggest that manipulating the community composition in favour of pest-consuming functional groups may be more important for improving biological control than fostering predator biodiversity per se. Agricultural management practices that specifically foster effective species or functional groups (e.g. mulching for cursorial spiders) should receive more attention in low-pesticide farming systems. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
aphids, Araneae, biological control, generalist predators, functional group diversity, DNA-based gut content analysis, natural enemies, Sitobion avenae
in
Bulletin of Entomological Research
volume
98
issue
3
pages
249 - 255
publisher
Cambridge University Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:43749115480
ISSN
1475-2670
DOI
10.1017/S0007485308006019
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d0565975-ac4a-4d4a-90b1-2bdb60003821 (old id 2440491)
alternative location
http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0-43749115480&partnerID=40&md5=a768907030abd70ba404c00c52f3b06d
date added to LUP
2012-06-18 16:20:37
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:29:51
@article{d0565975-ac4a-4d4a-90b1-2bdb60003821,
  abstract     = {Generalist predators contribute to pest suppression in agroecosystems. Spider communities, which form a substantial fraction of the generalist predator fauna in arable land, are characterized by two functional groups: web-building and cursorial (non-web-building) species. We investigated the relative impact of these two functional groups on a common pest (Sitobion avenae, Aphididae) in wheat by combining a molecular technique that revealed species-specific aphid consumption rates with a factorial field experiment that analyzed the impact, separately and together, of equal densities of these two spider functional groups on aphid population growth. Only cursorial spiders retarded aphid population growth in our cage experiment, but this effect was limited to the initial aphid-population growth period and low-to-intermediate aphid densities. The molecular analysis, which used aphid-specific primers to detect aphid DNA in predator species, detected the highest proportion of aphid-consuming individuals in two cursorial spiders: the foliage-dwelling Xysticus cristatus (Thomisidae) and the ground-active Pardosa palustris (Lycosidae). The results suggest that manipulating the community composition in favour of pest-consuming functional groups may be more important for improving biological control than fostering predator biodiversity per se. Agricultural management practices that specifically foster effective species or functional groups (e.g. mulching for cursorial spiders) should receive more attention in low-pesticide farming systems.},
  author       = {Birkhofer, Klaus and Gavish-Regev, E. and Endlweber, K. and Lubin, Y.D. and Von Berg, K. and Wise, David H. and Scheu, Stefan},
  issn         = {1475-2670},
  keyword      = {aphids,Araneae,biological control,generalist predators,functional group diversity,DNA-based gut content analysis,natural enemies,Sitobion avenae},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {249--255},
  publisher    = {Cambridge University Press},
  series       = {Bulletin of Entomological Research},
  title        = {Cursorial spiders retard initial aphid population growth at low densities in winter wheat},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007485308006019},
  volume       = {98},
  year         = {2008},
}