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1 June 2014 Host Settling Behavior, Reproductive Performance, and Effects on Plant Growth of an Exotic Cereal Aphid, Metopolophium festucae subsp. cerealium (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
T. S. Davis, Y. Wu, S. D. Eigenbrode
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Abstract

The cereal aphid Metopolophium festucae subsp. cerealium (Stroyan) is a recent addition to North America, but little is known about this species in its exotic habitat. We surveyed aphid populations for 3 years (2011–2013) to investigate changes in aphid density in the Pacific Northwest United States. We tested aphid host settling preference and fecundity on eight grass species, four native grasses (bluebunch wheatgrass, blue wild rye, Idaho fescue, and rough fescue) and four cereal crops (corn, wheat, barley, and oat), and evaluated the effects of aphid feeding on plant biomass. Four important findings emerged: 1) aphid prevalence in sweep net samples increased from 2011 to 2012, but remained stable from 2012 to 2013; 2) aphids preferentially settled on wheat and avoided corn, but aphids did not discriminate between barley, oat, and native grasses; 3) aphid fecundity was high on wheat and barley, intermediate on oat and blue wild rye, low on Idaho fescue, rough fescue, and bluebunch wheatgrass, and aphids did not reproduce at all on corn; and 4) barley, corn, oats, Idaho fescue, and blue wild rye were not susceptible to aphid feeding damage, but wheat, rough fescue, and bluebunch wheatgrass were susceptible to aphid feeding damage. Our results suggest that wheat and barley are preferred by M. festucae cerealium, and that aphids reproduce most rapidly on these hosts and cause significant reductions in wheat but not barley growth. Also, M. festucae cerealium appears capable of surviving on native grasses, although only bluebunch wheatgrass and rough fescue were susceptible to aphid feeding damage.

© 2014 Entomological Society of America
T. S. Davis, Y. Wu, and S. D. Eigenbrode "Host Settling Behavior, Reproductive Performance, and Effects on Plant Growth of an Exotic Cereal Aphid, Metopolophium festucae subsp. cerealium (Hemiptera: Aphididae)," Environmental Entomology 43(3), 682-688, (1 June 2014). https://doi.org/10.1603/EN13350
Received: 19 December 2013; Accepted: 1 April 2014; Published: 1 June 2014
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KEYWORDS
behavioral ecology
cereal crop
host selection
performance
preference
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