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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    Genetics and selective breeding of variation in wing truncation in a flightless aphid control agent
    Lommen, Suzanne T.E. ; Koops, Kees G. ; Cornelder, Bardo A. ; Jong, Peter W. de; Brakefield, Paul M. - \ 2019
    Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 167 (2019)7. - ISSN 0013-8703 - p. 636 - 645.
    Adalia bipunctata - artificial selection - augmentative pest control - biological control - Coccinellidae - Coleoptera - cryptic genetic variation - gene-by-environment interaction - ladybird - modifier genes - predator - winglessness

    Augmentative biological control by predaceous ladybird beetles can be improved by using flightless morphs, which have longer residence times on the host plants. The two-spot ladybird beetle, Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), is used for the biological control of aphids in greenhouses and on urban trees. Flightlessness due to truncated wings occurs at very low frequency in some natural populations of A. bipunctata. Pure-breeding strains of this 'wingless' genotype of A. bipunctata can easily be obtained in the laboratory. Such strains have not been commercialized yet due to concerns about their reduced fitness compared to wild-type strains, which renders mass production more expensive. Wingless strains exhibit, however, wide intra-population phenotypic variation in the extent of wing truncation which is related to fitness traits. We here use classical quantitative genetic techniques to study the heritability and genetic architecture of variation in wing truncation in a wingless strain of A. bipunctata. Split-families reared at one of two temperatures revealed strong family-by-temperature interaction: heritability was estimated as 0.64 ± 0.09 at 19 °C and 0.29 ± 0.06 at 29 °C. Artificial selection in opposite directions at 21 °C demonstrated that the degree of wing truncation can be altered within a few generations resulting in wingless phenotypes without any wing tissue (realized h2 = 0.72), as well as those with minimal truncations (realized h2 = 0.61) in two replicates. The latter lines produced more than twice as many individuals. This indicates that selective breeding of wing truncation may be exploited to improve mass rearing of flightless strains of A. bipunctata for commercial biological control. Our work illustrates that cryptic variation can also be a source for the selective breeding of natural enemies.

    Genetic variation of biological control relevant traits in natural enemies: a systematic review, supporting data
    Pannebakker, Bart ; Ferguson, Kimberley - \ 2019
    Wageningen University & Research
    genome - biocontrol - biological control - parasitoid - predator - heritability - genetic variation
    This is supplementary material for a systematic review tentatively titled, "Genetic variation of biological control relevant traits in natural enemies: a systematic review" (2019). Three tables are available, and are referenced in the following manner in text: Table S1: Positive control group for search results, based on papers that fit the ideal search returns for the search term. Table S2: Combined search return hits, in unedited format received from CAB Abstracts. Table S3: Articles narrowed down to BCA, with duplicates and unavailable papers removed, prior to assessment for estimation method and traits.
    Francisella tularensis in Swedish predators and scavengers
    Hestvik, G. ; Uhlhorn, H. ; Koene, M. ; Åkerström, S. ; Malmsten, A. ; Dahl, F. ; Åhlén, P.A. ; Dalin, A.M. ; Gavier-Widén, D. - \ 2019
    Epidemiology and Infection 147 (2019). - ISSN 0950-2688 - p. e293 - e293.
    Agglutination - predator - serology - tularaemia - wildlife

    Tularaemia is a zoonotic disease, in Europe caused by Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica. Many lagomorphs and a variety of small rodents are wildlife species prone to develop clinical disease, while predators and scavengers are relatively resistant and may serve as sentinels. Blood samples from 656 Swedish wild predators and scavengers were serologically investigated using slide agglutination and microagglutination. In the slide agglutination test, 34 seropositive animals were detected, and they were found among all species investigated: brown bear (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), wild boar (Sus scrofa), wolf (Canis lupus) and wolverine (Gulo gulo). Due to haemolysis the microagglutination test was more difficult to read at low titres, and only 12 animals were classified as seropositive. F. tularensis subsp. holarctica was detected by a polymerase chain reaction in lymphatic tissues of the head in one brown bear, one red fox and one wolf. The significance of this finding regarding possible latency of infection is not clear. In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that all predator and scavenger species included in this study may serve as sentinels for tularaemia in Sweden. Their role as reservoirs is unclear.

    Data from: Responses of insect herbivores and their food plants to wind exposure and the importance of predation risk
    Chen, C. ; Biere, Arjen ; Gols, R. ; Halfwerk, Wouter ; Oers, C.H.J. ; Harvey, J.A. - \ 2018
    Wageningen University and Research
    development - abiotic factors - plant-herbivore interactions - predator - plutella xylostella - Pieris brassicae - Parus major
    1. Wind is an important abiotic factor that influences an array of biological processes, but it is rarely considered in studies on plant-herbivore interactions. 2. Here, we tested whether wind exposure could directly or indirectly affect the performance of two insect herbivores, Plutella xylostella and Pieris brassicae, feeding on Brassica nigra plants. 3. In a greenhouse study using a factorial design, B. nigra plants were exposed to different wind regimes generated by fans before and after caterpillars were introduced on plants in an attempt to separate the effects of direct and indirect wind exposure on herbivores. 4. Wind exposure delayed flowering, decreased plant height and increased leaf concentrations of amino acids and glucosinolates. 5. Plant-mediated effects of wind on herbivores, i.e., effects of exposure of plants to wind prior to herbivore feeding, were generally small. However, development time of both herbivores was extended and adult body mass of P. xylostella was reduced when they were directly exposed to wind. By contrast, wind-exposed adult P. brassicae butterflies were significantly larger, revealing a trade-off between development time and adult size. 6. Based on these results, we conducted a behavioral experiment to study preference by an avian predator, the Great Tit (Parus major) for last instar P. brassicae caterpillars on plants that were exposed to either control (no wind) or wind (fan-exposed) treatments. Tits captured significantly more caterpillars on still than on wind-exposed plants. 7. Our results suggest that P. brassicae caterpillars are able to perceive the abiotic environment and to trade off the costs of extended development time against the benefits of increased size depending on the perceived risk of predation mediated by wind exposure. Such adaptive phenotypic plasticity in insects has not yet been described in response to wind exposure.
    What Can Stable Isotope Analysis of Top Predator Tissues Contribute to Monitoring of Tundra Ecosystems?
    Ehrich, Dorothee ; Ims, Rolf A. ; Yoccoz, Nigel G. ; Lecomte, Nicolas ; Killengreen, Siw T. ; Fuglei, Eva ; Rodnikova, Anna Y. ; Ebbinge, Barwolt S. ; Menyushina, Irina E. ; Nolet, Bart A. ; Pokrovsky, Ivan G. ; Popov, Igor Y. ; Schmidt, Niels M. ; Sokolov, Aleksandr A. ; Sokolova, Natalya A. ; Sokolov, Vasily A. - \ 2015
    Ecosystems 18 (2015)3. - ISSN 1432-9840 - p. 404 - 416.
    arctic tundra - diet - ecological indicator - food web - monitoring - predator - stable isotopes - Vulpes lagopus

    Understanding how climate change and increasing human impacts may exert pressure on ecosystems and threaten biodiversity requires efficient monitoring programs. Indicator species have been proposed as useful tools, and predators and their diet may be particularly suitable. The vast and remote arctic tundra represents a good case study as shifts in ecosystem states are presently occurring, and monitoring is a major challenge. Here we assess what stable isotopes reflecting the diet of the arctic fox, a widespread and highly flexible top predator, can contribute to effective monitoring of the vertebrate prey basis of Arctic tundra. We used data collected over 2–5 years from six sites in the Eurasian Arctic and Greenland. Stable isotope signatures of arctic fox winter fur reflected both spatial and temporal variability in the composition of the vertebrate prey basis. Clear contrasts were apparent in the importance of marine resources, as well as of small rodents and their multiannual density fluctuations. Some important resources could however not be separated because of confounding isotopic signatures. Moreover, except for preferred prey, the proportions of prey in the diet may not necessarily reflect the relative importance of species in the community of available prey. Knowing these limitations, we suggest that the arctic fox diet as inferred from stable isotopes could serve as one of several key targets in ecosystem-based monitoring programs.

    Performance of Orius insidiosus after storage, exposure to dispersal material, handling and shipment processes
    Bueno, V.H.P. ; Carvalho, L.M. ; Lenteren, J.C. van - \ 2014
    Bulletin of Insectology 67 (2014)2. - ISSN 1721-8861 - p. 175 - 183.
    augmentative biological-control - sauteri poppius heteroptera - hemiptera anthocoridae - natural enemies - say hemiptera - cold-storage - reproduction - predator - temperature - arthropods
    Storage, handling and shipment procedures are important factors influencing the quality of biological control agents. This study aimed to evaluate biological parameters and performance of Orius insidiosus (Say) after different storage periods at low temperatures, after exposure to different dispersal materials in containers, and after handling the predator during the shipment and delivery processes. Storage periods were 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 days at temperatures of 5, 8, 10 and 12 ± 1 °C, RH 70 ± 10% and under continuous scotophase. A mix of 75% adults and 25% 5th instar nymphs of O. insidiosus was kept in plastic containers (200 mL) for a 72 h period, supplied with eggs of Anagasta kuehniella (Zeller) as food, farmer’s friend inflorescence (Bidens pilosa L.) as oviposition substrate and source of moisture, and one of the following dispersal materials: vermiculite + rice hulls (1:1), vermiculite, folded paper towels, sawdust, and coffee husk. Also, similar mixes of nymphs and adults were exposed to a 72 h shipment and delivery process. We found that O. insidiosus can be stored up to 10 days at 8 °C without loss of quality. Interestingly, storage of mated female predators results in a much higher fecundity post-storage than storage of virgin females. Vermiculite + rice hulls was by far the best dispersal material, and shipment of the predators by post during 72 h in Styrofoam boxes with plastic containers with vermiculite + rice hulls and A. kuehniella eggs did not negatively affect their survival and predation capacity. Our results can be used in planning mass-rearing and shipment, and to improve the quality of the predator O. insidiosus by using the right storage temperature, storage period and dispersal material.
    Long-term familiarity promotes joining in neighbour nest defence
    Grabowska-Zhang, A.M. ; Sheldon, B.S. ; Hinde, C.A. - \ 2012
    Biology Letters 8 (2012)4. - ISSN 1744-9561 - p. 544 - 546.
    tit parus-major - by-product mutualism - reciprocal altruism - great tit - predator - population
    Familiarity plays an important role in the evolution of sociality and cooperation. Familiar individuals may gain a reputation for participating in, or defecting from, cooperative tasks. Previous research suggests that long-term familiarity with territorial neighbours benefits breeders. We tested the hypothesis that great tits (Parus major) are more likely to join in neighbours' nest defence if those neighbours are familiar from the previous year. We show that neighbours that shared a territory boundary the previous year are more likely to join their neighbours' nest defence than neighbours that did not share a boundary before. Closer neighbours did not differ from distant neighbours in their latency to join. For familiar neighbours that joined, there was no difference in call rate in relation to whether one or both members of the focal pair were familiar. First-time breeders (by definition unfamiliar) did not join each other's nest defence. This is the first evidence of a relationship between familiarity and joining in nest defence. Such direct benefits of familiarity may have important implications in the evolution of sociality.
    Winter feeding activity of the common starfish (Asterias rubens L.): The role of temperature and shading
    Agüera García, A. ; Trommelen, M.A. ; Burrows, F. ; Jansen, J.M. ; Schellekens, T. ; Smaal, A.C. - \ 2012
    Journal of Sea Research 72 (2012). - ISSN 1385-1101 - p. 106 - 112.
    mussels mytilus-edulis - luidia-clathrata say - dutch-wadden sea - l echinodermata - bivalve prey - asteroidea - predator - growth - behavior - beds
    In the Wadden Sea common starfish is an important predator of mussel beds which in turn are relevant ecological and economic resource. To improve the management of mussel seedbeds, knowledge is required on over winter predation, a factor affecting mussel survival. The aim of this study was to assess the importance of A. rubens feeding activity during winter and how it relates with changes in temperature. Feeding activity of starfish was monitored during a full winter. The potential impact of temperature change on starfish–mussel seed interactions during winter was analysed. The factor shading was included, as changes in light intensity appear to be a primary governing factor for the timing of feeding activity. The results showed that temperature limits feeding rate and feeding activity of starfish during winter. However, starfish feeding rate exhibited very high sensitivity to temperature changes. Light intensity affected both feeding rate and feeding activity. It is concluded that starfish may not be an important factor destabilising seedbeds during a mean winter, but its importance may grow along with the increasing temperature due to climate change.
    Collapse and reorganization of a food web of Mwanza Gulf, Lake Victoria
    Downing, A.S. ; Nes, E.H. van; Janse, J. ; Witte, F. ; Cornelissen, I.J.M. ; Scheffer, M. ; Mooij, W.M. - \ 2012
    Ecological Applications 22 (2012)1. - ISSN 1051-0761 - p. 229 - 239.
    african great-lakes - nile perch - morphological-changes - lates-niloticus - east-africa - fish - biodiversity - challenges - fisheries - predator
    Lake Victoria (in East Africa) is the world's second largest fresh-water system. Over the past century the ecosystem has undergone drastic changes. Some 30 years after the introduction of Nile perch and tilapia in the 1950s, the highly diverse community of native haplochromines collapsed, leaving a system dominated by only four species: the native cyprinid dagaa and shrimp Caridina nilotica, as well as the introduced Nile perch and Nile tilapia. More recently, an unexpected resurgence of haplochromines has been reported. To better grasp these changes in terms of ecosystem functioning and of changes in growth of trophic groups, we created mass-balances of the food web near Mwanza (Tanzania) before, during and after the Nile perch boom (1977, 1987 and 2005), using the application ECOPATH. We connected these mass-balances with a dynamic model assuming linear trends in net growth rates of the trophic groups. Our analysis suggests that the Nile perch boom initially altered the biomass distribution over trophic levels. Also, results indicate that not only fishing but also changes at the detritivores' trophic level might have played an important role in driving changes in the system. Both the mass-balances and the dynamic model connecting them reveal that after a major distortion during the Nile perch boom, the biomass distribution over the main trophic levels had largely recovered to its original state by 2005. However, no such return appeared in terms of community structure. Biodiversity in the new state is dramatically lower, consisting of introduced species and a few native surviving species. We conclude that at an aggregate level Lake Victoria's ecosystem has proved to be resilient in the sense that its overall trophic structure has apparently recovered after a major perturbation. By contrast, its intricate functional structure and associated biodiversity have proven to be fragile and seem unlikely to recover
    Scaling up from individual behaviour of Orius sauteri foraging on Thrips palmi to its daily functional response
    Hemerik, L. ; Yano, E. - \ 2011
    Population Ecology 53 (2011)4. - ISSN 1438-3896 - p. 563 - 572.
    spodoptera-frugiperda lepidoptera - karny thysanoptera - insidiosus hemiptera - poppius heteroptera - anthocoridae - eggplant - predator - simulation - noctuidae - model
    Functional responses of predators are generally measured under laboratory conditions at rather high prey densities. This is also true for the predation capability of the anthocorid predatory bug Orius sauteri (Poppius). To quantify the daily impact of one female Orius predator on its prey Thrips palmi Karny on greenhouse eggplants where the prey is present below the economic threshold density, we use its patch-leaving and feeding behaviour on eggplant leaves with different prey numbers and scale up to the larger spatio-temporal scale of the greenhouse and one foraging day by means of a simulation model. For this, we also use literature data on the distribution of T. palmi over eggplant leaves. The simulation results in a typical type II functional response for O. sauteri as a function of average T. palmi density: O. sauteri can find and eat approximately 10 prey items per day if T. palmi is present around its economic injury level. The daily mean number of prey eaten per O. sauteri predator, i.e., its predation capability, is highly sensitive to the actual baseline leaving tendency, the effect size of the presence of prey on the baseline leaving tendency and the effect size of the encounter rate with prey thereon
    Effect of temperature on development and growth of the raptorial cladoceran Leptodora kindtii under laboratory conditions
    Vijverberg, J. ; Koelewijn, H.P. - \ 2004
    Freshwater Biology 49 (2004)11. - ISSN 0046-5070 - p. 1415 - 1422.
    foraging behavior - lake - bythotrephes - predator - prey - reproduction - population - tjeukemeer - daphnia
    1. Leptodora is a key species in many temperate freshwater systems, but so far its role in the food web could not be properly evaluated because detailed information about its secondary production was lacking. As we wanted to estimate the secondary production of Leptodora, we measured its development and growth rates in the laboratory. 2. Employing improved methods to estimate growth and instar durations, we cultured Leptodora kindtii in the laboratory at four constant temperatures (15, 17.5, 20 and 25 °C). Growth in length and development times of eggs and instar stages were assessed. 3. Growth rates at 15, 17.5 and 20 °C were similar, but at 25 °C growth was distinctly faster. At 17.5 °C we observed seven juvenile instar stages before the first adult instar stage was reached.
    How does global change affect the strength of trophic interactions?
    Emmerson, M. ; Bezemer, T.M. ; Hunter, M.D. ; Jones, T.H. ; Masters, G.J. ; Dam, N.M. van - \ 2004
    Basic and Applied Ecology 5 (2004)6. - ISSN 1439-1791 - p. 505 - 514.
    insect herbivore interactions - capita interaction strength - elevated atmospheric co2 - real ecosystems - food webs - stability - responses - predator - environments - productivity
    Recent research has generally shown that a small change in the number of species in a food web can have consequences both for community structure and ecosystem processes. However `change` is not limited to just the number of species in a community, but might include an alteration to such properties as precipitation, nutrient cycling and temperature, all of which are correlated with productivity. Here we argue that predicted scenarios of global change will result in increased plant productivity. We model three scenarios of change using simple Lotka-Volterra dynamics, which explore how a global change in productivity might affect the strength of local species interactions and detail the consequences for community and ecosystem level stability. Our results indicate that (i) at local scales the average population size of consumers may decline because of poor quality food resources, (ii) that the strength of species interactions at equilibrium may become weaker because of reduced population size, and (iii) that species populations may become more variable and may take longer to recover from environmental or anthropogenic disturbances. At local scales interaction strengths encompass such properties as feeding rates and assimilation efficiencies, and encapsulate functionally important information with regard to ecosystem processes. Interaction strengths represent the pathways and transfer of energy through an ecosystem. We examine how such local patterns might be affected given various scenarios of `global change` and discuss the consequences for community stability and ecosystem functioning.
    Exposure of Lima bean leaves to volatiles from herbivore-induced conspecific plants results in emission of carnivore attractants: active or passive process?
    Choh, Y. ; Shimoda, T. ; Ozawa, R. ; Dicke, M. ; Takabayashi, J. - \ 2004
    Journal of Chemical Ecology 30 (2004)7. - ISSN 0098-0331 - p. 1305 - 1317.
    tetranychus-urticae - field conditions - natural enemies - jasmonic acid - spider-mites - attack - phytoseiidae - responses - mutualism - predator
    There is increasing evidence that volatiles emitted by herbivore-damaged plants can cause responses in downwind undamaged neighboring plants, such as the attraction of carnivorous enemies of herbivores. One of the open questions is whether this involves an active (production of volatiles) or passive (adsorption of volatiles) response of the uninfested downwind plant. This issue is addressed in the present study. Uninfested lima bean leaves that were exposed to volatiles from conspecific leaves infested with the spider mite Tetranychus urticae, emitted very similar blends of volatiles to those emitted from infested leaves themselves. Treating leaves with a protein-synthesis inhibitor prior to infesting them with spider mites completely suppressed the production of herbivore-induced volatiles in the infested leaves. Conversely, inhibitor treatment to uninfested leaves prior to exposure to volatiles from infested leaves did not affect the emission of volatiles from the exposed, uninfested leaves. This evidence supports the hypothesis that response of the exposed downwind plant is passive. T. urticae-infested leaves that had been previously exposed to volatiles from infested leaves emitted more herbivore-induced volatiles than T. urticae-infested leaves previously exposed to volatiles from uninfested leaves. The former leaves were also more attractive to the predatory mite, Phytoseiulus persimilis, than the latter. This shows that previous exposure of plants to volatiles from herbivore-infested neighbors results in a stronger response of plants in terms of predator attraction when herbivores damage the plant. This supports the hypothesis that the downwind uninfested plant is actively involved. Both adsorption and production of volatiles can mediate the attraction of carnivorous mites to plants that have been exposed to volatiles from infested neighbors.
    Lima bean leaves exposed to herbivore-induced conspecific plant volatiles attract herbivores in addition to carnivores
    Horiuchi, J.I. ; Arimura, G.I. ; Ozawa, R. ; Shimoda, T. ; Dicke, M. ; Takabayashi, J. ; Nishioka, T. - \ 2003
    Applied Entomology and Zoology 38 (2003)3. - ISSN 0003-6862 - p. 365 - 368.
    tetranychus-urticae - induced resistance - field conditions - wild tobacco - spider-mites - communication - sagebrush - responses - predator - defense
    We tested the response of the herbivorous mite Tetranychus urticae to uninfested lima bean leaves exposed to herbivore-induced conspecific plant volatiles by using a Y-tube olfactometer. First, we confirmed that exposed uninfested leaves next to infested leaves were more attractive to carnivorous mites Phytoseiulus persimilis than uninfested leaves next to uninfested conspecific leaves. Under the same conditions, uninfested leaves next to infested conspecific leaves were more attractive to T urticae than uninfested leaves next to uninfested leaves. Based on these data, we discuss the role of the volatiles from the exposed plants in a tritrophic system.
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