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Competitive displacement between two invasive whiteflies: insecticide application and host plant effects

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2013

Di-Bing Sun
Affiliation:
Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China
Yin-Quan Liu
Affiliation:
Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China
Li Qin
Affiliation:
Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China
Jing Xu
Affiliation:
Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China
Fang-Fang Li
Affiliation:
Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China
Shu-Sheng Liu*
Affiliation:
Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, 866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou 310058, People's Republic of China
*
* Author for correspondence Phone: +86 571 88982505 Fax: +86 571 88982355 E-mail: shshliu@zju.edu.cn

Abstract

The cryptic species Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1), formerly referred to as ‘B biotype’, of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci complex entered China in the mid 1990s, and the Mediterranean (MED) cryptic species, formerly referred to as ‘Q biotype’, of the same whitefly complex entered China around 2003. Field surveys in China after 2003 indicate that in many regions MED has been replacing the earlier invader MEAM1. The factors underlying this displacement are unclear. We conducted laboratory experiments and field sampling to examine the effects of insecticide application on the competitive interactions between MEAM1 and MED. In the laboratory, on cotton, a plant showing similar levels of suitability to both whitefly species, MEAM1 displaced MED in five generations when initial populations of the two species were equal and no insecticide was applied. In contrast, MED displaced MEAM1 in seven and two generations, respectively, when 12.5 and 50.0 mg l−1 imidacloprid was applied to the plants via soil drench. Field sampling indicated that in a single season MED displaced MEAM1 on crops heavily sprayed with neonicotinoid insecticides but the relative abundance of the two species changed little on crops without insecticide spray. We also examined the effects of host plants on the competitive interactions between the two species in the laboratory. When cohorts with equal abundance of MEAM1 and MED were set up on different host plants, MEAM1 displaced MED on cabbage and tomato in five and seven generations, respectively, but MED displaced MEAM1 on pepper in two generations. As field populations of MED have lower susceptibility than those of MEAM1 to nearly all commonly used insecticides including imidacloprid, insecticide application seems to have played a major role in shifting the species competitive interaction effects in favour of MED in the field across China. Host plants may also shape competition between the two species depending on the relative levels of plant suitability.

Type
Research Paper
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

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