Aphids in a changing world: testing the plant stress, plant vigour and pulsed stress hypotheses

Tariq, Muhammad; Wright, Denis J.; Rossiter, John T.; Staley, Joanna T.. 2012 Aphids in a changing world: testing the plant stress, plant vigour and pulsed stress hypotheses. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 14 (2). 177-185.

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1. The plant stress, plant vigour and pulsed stress hypotheses describe the relationships between drought stress, plant quality and herbivore performance. We used an aphid- Brassica system to test these hypotheses under different drought treatments. 2. The quantity of water added per plant/week was 75%, 50% and 25% of the control (unstressed) water regime for low, medium and high drought stress, respectively, and 50% applied fortnightly for pulsed drought stress. The performance of a ‘senescence’ (generalist) and a ‘flush’ feeder (specialist) aphid species and host plant quality were assessed. 3. Drought treatments had a similar effect on the fecundity and intrinsic rate of increase of both aphid species. Aphid perforance on unstressed and highly drought-stressed plants was significantly lower compared with medium drought stress. On average, 20% greater fecundity and 40% greater intrinsic rates of increase were recorded for both aphid species at medium drought stress compared with unstressed plants. 4. Plant biomass and relative water contents were significantly greater for unstressed plants compared with high and pulsed drought treatments. Foliar nitrogen concentration was significantly greater in the high drought stress and pulsed treatments, and the dominant glucosinolate (glucobrassicin) concentration was significantly greater in drought stress treatments. 5. The present study supports the plant stress hypothesis, although the plant vigour and pulsed stress hypotheses are not supported by our data. The implications of these findings for plant–herbivore interactions under changing environmental conditions are discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 3 - Managing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Environment > BD - 3.2 - Develop and test practical measures to ameliorate the effects ...
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 1461-9555
Additional Keywords: Brassica oleracea, Brevicoryne brassicae, drought, glucosinolates, herbivory, Myzus persicae, plant–herbivore interaction
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 17 Jul 2012 12:54 +0 (UTC)

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