The effects of predator exclusion and caging on cereal aphids in winter wheat.

Author Chambers, R.J., Sunderland, K.D., Wyatt, I.J., & Vickerman, G.P.
Citation Chambers, R.J., Sunderland, K.D., Wyatt, I.J., & Vickerman, G.P. (1983). The effects of predator exclusion and caging on cereal aphids in winter wheat. Journal of Applied Ecology, 20: 209-224.

Abstract

  1. Changes in numbers of cereal aphids were measured inside and outside cages designed to exclude aphid specific predators (certain Coccinellidae. Syrphidae and Chrysopidae) in a field of winter wheat in 1976, 1977 and 1979.
  2. In each year, three phases of aphid population development were distinguished; an initial rapid growth phase, a divergence phase, and a decline phase. Populations in the cages increased at the same rate as outside during the growth phase, and during the divergence phase continued to increase to a peak while populations outside increased at a slower rate or decreased. As a result of the divergence, a difference in peak numbers of up to six times was recorded. Populations outside fell rapidly during the decline phase while a slower reduction occurred in the cages.
  3. In the 3 years, the divergence phase coincided with an increase in the numbers of aphid specific predators. The consumption rate by predators that would be required to bring about the observed differences between cages and outside was calculated and found to lie within published values. It was concluded that predation was likely to be the major cause of the differences between cages and outside to the time of the population peak. Predation, parasitism, disease and emigration all contributed to the decline phase.
  4. Although there was no difference in plant growth stage inside and outside the cages, and the divergence phase occurred at different growth stages in the 3 years, it was not possible to rule out a subtle effect of the caging technique itself on the physiology of the plant or aphid, acting only during the divergence phase.

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