Linking habitat complexity with predation of pests through molecular gut-content analyses

Szendrei, Zsofia, Bryant, Alexandria, Rowley, Daniel, Furlong, Michael J., Schmidt, Jason M. and Greenstone, Matthew H. (2014) Linking habitat complexity with predation of pests through molecular gut-content analyses. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 24 12: 1425-1438. doi:10.1080/09583157.2014.944098

Author Szendrei, Zsofia
Bryant, Alexandria
Rowley, Daniel
Furlong, Michael J.
Schmidt, Jason M.
Greenstone, Matthew H.
Title Linking habitat complexity with predation of pests through molecular gut-content analyses
Journal name Biocontrol Science and Technology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1360-0478
Publication date 2014-12-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09583157.2014.944098
Volume 24
Issue 12
Start page 1425
End page 1438
Total pages 14
Place of publication Abingdon Oxfordshire United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Improving the diversity of farm systems or landscapes can lead to more effective biological control by providing refuge and alternative resources for colonising natural enemies. Within an experimental cabbage agroecosystem, we examined the effects of habitat management (i.e. herbicide use and cover crops) on pest populations and predator community structure, and report one of the first studies on the trophic links in this system using molecular gut-content analysis. In response to herbicide and cover crop management treatments designed to create different levels of habitat diversity, we quantified the abundance of two pests, Plutella xylostella Linnaeus (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and Pieris rapae Linnaeus (Lepidoptera: Pieridae), and predators. We designed species-specific primers to detect prey DNA in predators' guts. Pieris rapae were significantly more abundant in plots where cover crops were killed early in the season, and habitat management generated unique predator communities in response to weed management treatments. Thirty-five per cent of predators tested positive for prey DNA, and habitat management had interactive effects on predation of P. xylostella. Combined we found that habitat management has variable effects on natural enemy–pest interactions.
Keyword Cover crop mulch
Weed management
Pieris rapae
Plutella xylostella
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Thu, 12 Mar 2015, 07:57:25 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences