Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Host Availability, Repulsive Companion Planting, and Predation Interact and Shape How a Parthenogenetic Aphid Population Responds to a Stratified Ecological Challenge

Version 1 : Received: 12 January 2020 / Approved: 13 January 2020 / Online: 13 January 2020 (15:47:15 CET)

How to cite: Khudr, M.S.; Fliegner ‎, L.; Buzhdygan, O.Y.; Purkiss, S.A. Host Availability, Repulsive Companion Planting, and Predation Interact and Shape How a Parthenogenetic Aphid Population Responds to a Stratified Ecological Challenge. Preprints 2020, 2020010140 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202001.0140.v1). Khudr, M.S.; Fliegner ‎, L.; Buzhdygan, O.Y.; Purkiss, S.A. Host Availability, Repulsive Companion Planting, and Predation Interact and Shape How a Parthenogenetic Aphid Population Responds to a Stratified Ecological Challenge. Preprints 2020, 2020010140 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202001.0140.v1).

Abstract

Phloem-feeding insects strive to offset the disadvantageous effects of stressors to sustain their offspring and survive. Adaptive responses to environmental stress are not well understood under complex influences of companion planting, natural enemies, and host gradient. In this study, under predation by lacewing Chrysoperla carnea Stephens (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), we survey the responses of green peach aphid Myzus persicae Sulzer (Hemiptera: Aphididae), reared on different densities of cabbage Brassica oleracea L. (Brassicales: Brassicaceae) to its shallot companion Allium cepa (L.) var. aggregatum G. Don (Asparagales: Amaryllidaceae). Firstly, aphid aggregative abundance was strongly influenced by shallot perturbation, predator presence and changes in cabbage-host biomass, altering aphid phenotypic plasticity. Interestingly, the shallot and predation negative impacts can be of similar magnitudes. Secondly, changes in the cabbage-host availability and biomass, especially under predation, had a strong impact on aphid traits. Our study underscores the benefits of including shallots as crop-companions in augmenting pest control, but also suggests that the outcome of coupling companion planting with natural enemies is context-dependent and thus should be empirically applied. At the confluence of ecology and agronomy, this work provides insights on how manipulated functional biodiversity may function as an alternative strategy for pestilent herbivory management in model and green-house systems.

Subject Areas

shallot; cabbage; green peach aphid; lacewing; bio-stress; companion planting

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