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Potential for insecticide-mediated shift in ecological dominance between two competing aphid species.

08:00 EDT 20th March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Potential for insecticide-mediated shift in ecological dominance between two competing aphid species."

Competition is a key structuring component of biological communities, which is affected by both biotic and abiotic environmental stressors. Among the latter, anthropic stressors and particularly pesticides are noteworthy due to their intrinsic toxicity and large use in agroecosystems. However this issue has been scarcely documented so far. In this context, we carried out experiments under laboratory conditions to evaluate stress imposed by the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid on intra and interspecific competition among two major wheat pest aphids. The bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi L. and the English grain aphid Sitobion avenae F. were subjected to competition on wheat seedlings under varying density combinations of both species and subjected or not to imidacloprid exposure. Intraspecific competition does take place without insecticide exposure, but so does interspecific competition between both aphid species with R. padi prevailing over S. avenae. Imidacloprid interfered with both intra and interspecific competition suppressing the former and even the latter for up to 14 days, but not afterwards when a shift in dominance takes place favoring S. avenae over R. padi, in contrast with the interspecific competition without imidacloprid exposure. These findings hinted that insecticides are indeed able to mediate species interaction and competition influencing community structure and raising management concerns for favoring potential secondary pest outbreaks.

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Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Chemosphere
ISSN: 1879-1298
Pages: 651-658

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