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4 March 2022 Interacting Antagonisms: Parasite Infection Alters Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Responses to Herbivory on Tomato Plants
Luis A. Aguirre, Lynn S. Adler
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Little is known about how simultaneous antagonistic interactions on plants and pollinators affect pollination services, even though herbivory can alter floral traits and parasites can change pollinator learning, perception, or behavior. We investigated how a common herbivore and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) parasite impact pollination in tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) (Solanales: Solanaceae). We exposed half the plants to low-intensity herbivory by the specialist Manduca sexta L. (Lepidoptera: Sphigidae), and observed bumble bee visits and time spent on flowers of damaged and control plants. Following observations, we caught the foraging bees and assessed infection by the common gut parasite, Crithidia bombi Lipa & Triggiani (Trypanosomatida: Trypanosomatidae). Interestingly, we found an interactive effect between herbivory and Crithidia infection; bees with higher parasite loads spent less time foraging on damaged plants compared to control plants. However, bees did not visit higher proportions of flowers on damaged or control plants, regardless of infection status. Our study demonstrates that multiple antagonists can have synergistic negative effects on the duration of pollinator visits, such that the consequences of herbivory may depend on the infection status of pollinators. If pollinator parasites indeed exacerbate the negative effects of herbivory on pollination services, this suggests the importance of incorporating bee health management practices to maximize crop production.

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Luis A. Aguirre and Lynn S. Adler "Interacting Antagonisms: Parasite Infection Alters Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Responses to Herbivory on Tomato Plants," Journal of Economic Entomology 115(2), 688-692, (4 March 2022).
Received: 18 October 2021; Accepted: 1 February 2022; Published: 4 March 2022

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bee health
crop pollination
multitrophic interaction
plant–pest interaction
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