Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 407251
Title Detection of refuge from enemies through phenological mismatching in multitrophic interactions requires season-wide estimation of host abundance
Author(s) Kerstes, N.A.G.; Jong, P.W. de
Source Evolutionary Ecology 25 (2011)2. - ISSN 0269-7653 - p. 485 - 498.
Department(s) Laboratory of Entomology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) plant barbarea-vulgaris - free space - phyllotreta-nemorum - natural enemies - flea beetle - phytophagous arthropods - rhagoletis-pomonella - insect herbivores - defenses - communities
Abstract The concept of ‘‘enemy-free space’’ (EFS) refers to ways of living that reduce or eliminate the vulnerability of a species to natural enemies. It has been invoked to explain host shifts of phytophagous insects. A demonstrated cause of EFS is escape from enemies in time, through phenological mismatching of herbivore development and enemy occurrence, leading to low percentages of predation/parasitism of herbivores occurring at a certain time. The mere measurement of percentage parasitism, however, is not sufficient to demonstrate EFS in certain cases. Here we present such a case, where parasitism was studied of a phytophagous insect (Phyllotreta nemorum), using two different host plant species in the field: an atypical, relatively rarely used, plant (Barbarea vulgaris), and a more widely used one (Sinapis arvensis). At one location we found a paradoxical result: on each separate sampling day throughout the season the percentage of parasitism of P. nemorum using a patch of B. vulgaris was not significantly different from, or even significantly higher than on a nearby patch of S. arvensis. The overall season-wide proportion parasitism of the flea beetle cohort using the B. vulgaris patch, however, was lower. We conclude that, in the year and at the location we studied, the patch of B. vulgaris provided enemy-free space to the herbivore in the form of a temporal refuge, and that the importance of enemy-free space in the use of an atypical host plant should be evaluated on the basis of season-wide sampling, including estimation of host population size.
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