Opposing effects of organic and conventional fertilizers on the performance of a generalist and a specialist aphid species

Stafford, David B.; Tariq, Muhammad; Wright, Denis J.; Rossiter, John T.; Kazana, Eleana; Leather, Simon R.; Ali, Muhammad; Staley, Joanna T.. 2012 Opposing effects of organic and conventional fertilizers on the performance of a generalist and a specialist aphid species. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 14 (3). 270-275.

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1. Sustainable and conventional farming systems use fertilizers that differ in the availability of nitrogen, which may affect plant quality to alter the abundance and performance of potential pest species. 2. We grew brassica plants in several types of fertilizer, including those commonly used in conventional and sustainable farming systems, and an unfertilized control. The effects of fertilizer type on the performance of two phid species and foliar glucosinolate content were investigated. 3. Both aphid species performed poorly (with reduced fecundity) on the unfertilized treatment compared with those feeding on fertilized host plants. 4. Brevicoryne brassicae, the brassica specialist, performed best on Brassica oleracea plants fertilized with an organic animal manure, with a 72% increase in fecundity and an 18% increase in intrinsic rate of increase compared with plants fertilized with ammonium nitrate. 5. By contrast, the generalist Myzus persicae had an intrinsic rate of increase that was reduced by 15% on plants growing in the animal manure compared with those growing in ammonium nitrate. 6. These results may explain earlier findings on the effects of fertilizer type on aphid populations in the field, and are discussed in the context of pest species’ responses to sustainable and conventional agricultural systems.

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 Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This document is the author’s final manuscript version of the journal article, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer review process. Some differences between this and the publisher’s version remain. You are advised to consult the publisher’s version if you wish to cite from this article. The definitive version is available at
Additional Keywords: Brassica, Brevicoryne brassicae, development, fecundity, glucosinolate, intrinsic rate of increase, Myzus persicae
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 17 Jul 2012 13:04 +0 (UTC)

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