Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5c569c448b-8lphq Total loading time: 0.258 Render date: 2022-07-05T13:35:14.697Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Impact of abiotic factors on predator-prey interactions: DNA-based gut content analysis in a microcosm experiment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2008

K. von Berg*
Affiliation:
Animal Ecology, Darmstadt University of Technology, Schnittspahnstrasse 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
M. Traugott
Affiliation:
Institute of Ecology, Mountain Agriculture Research Unit, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstrasse 25, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Biomedical Sciences Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3US, UK
W.O.C. Symondson
Affiliation:
Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Biomedical Sciences Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3US, UK
S. Scheu
Affiliation:
Animal Ecology, Darmstadt University of Technology, Schnittspahnstrasse 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
*
*Author for correspondence Fax: +49 6151 166111 E-mail: vonberg@bio.tu-darmstadt.de

Abstract

The effects of predators on prey populations can be modified by a number of abiotic factors. Here, we investigated the combined and separate effects of rain and ground-dwelling predators on aphid populations in a microcosm experiment lasting for 21 days, using PCR to analyse the gut content of the predators. Rain significantly dislodged aphids from shoots and ears by 57% and 25%, respectively. The gut content analysis showed that more predators consumed aphids in the rain treatment than without rain, indicating higher availability of aphids to ground-dwelling predators after rain. However, no synergistic effects of rain and ground-dwelling predators on aphid population development could be demonstrated. Rain alone significantly decreased aphid populations by 27%, suggesting that this is a significant mortality factor. Predators alone had no significant effect on aphid numbers, but the gut content analyses showed aphid consumption also in the no-rain treatments, indicating that aphids were available to the predators on the soil surface even without rain. Our results suggest that weather conditions such as rain can modify predator-prey interactions in the field. Employing PCR-based predator gut content analyses proved to be useful as trophic links could be directly verified.

Type
Research Paper
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Agustí, N., Shayler, S.P., Harwood, J.D., Vaughan, I.P., Sunderland, K.D. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2003) Collembola as alternative prey sustaining spiders in arable ecosystems: prey detection within predators using molecular markers. Molecular Ecology 12, 34673475.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Araya, J.E. & Fereres, A. (1991) Cereal aphid survival under flooding conditions. Zeitschrift fur Pflanzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz-Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection 98, 168173.Google Scholar
Begon, M., Townsend, C.R. & Harper, J.L. (2005) Ecology from Individuals to Ecosystems. 752 pp. Malden, Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
Cannon, R.J.C. (1984) The development rate of Metopolophium dirhodum (Walker) (Hemiptera, Aphididae) on winter-wheat. Bulletin of Entomological Research 74, 3346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chase, J.M. (1996) Abiotic controls of trophic cascades in a simple grassland food chain. Oikos 77, 495506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dhaliwal, J.S. & Singh, B. (1975) Effect of simulated rain on the survival of wheat aphid Macrosiphum miscanthi (Takahashi) and its syrphid predator (Eristalis tenax L.). Indian Journal of Ecology 3, 186187.Google Scholar
Dennis, P. & Sotherton, N.W. (1994) Behavioral aspects of staphylinid beetles that limit their aphid feeding potential in cereal crops. Pedobiologia 38, 222237.Google Scholar
Dewar, A.M., Dean, G.J. & Cannon, R. (1982) Assessment of methods for estimating the numbers of aphids (Hemiptera, Aphididae) in cereals. Bulletin of Entomological Research 72, 675685.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Foltan, P., Sheppard, S., Konvicka, M. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2005) The significance of facultative scavenging in generalist predator nutrition: detecting decayed prey in the guts of predators using PCR. Molecular Ecology 14, 41474158.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Frampton, G.K., van den Brink, P.J. & Gould, P.J.L. (2000) Effects of spring drought and irrigation on farmland arthropods in southern Britain. Journal of Applied Ecology 37, 865883.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fraser, A.M. (1982) The role of spiders in determining cereal aphid numbers. PhD thesis, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.Google Scholar
Fraser, L.H. (1998) Top-down vs bottom-up control influenced by productivity in a North Derbyshire, UK, dale. Oikos 81, 99108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fraser, L.H. & Grime, J.P. (1998) Top-down control and its effect on the biomass and composition of three grasses at high and low soil fertility in outdoor microcosms. Oecologia 113, 239246.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Greenstone, M.H., Rowley, D.L., Weber, D.C., Payton, M.E. & Hawthorne, D.J. (2007) Feeding mode and prey detectability half-lives in molecular gut-content analysis: an example with two predators of the Colorado potato beetle. Bulletin of Entomological Research 97, 201209.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Griffiths, E., Wratten, S.D. & Vickerman, G.P. (1985) Foraging by the Carabid Agonum dorsale in the field. Ecological Entomology 10, 181189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harper, G.L., King, R.A., Dodd, C.S., Harwood, J.D., Glen, D.M., Bruford, M.W. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2005) Rapid screening of invertebrate predators for multiple prey DNA targets. Molecular Ecology 14, 819827.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Holland, J.M. & Thomas, S.R. (1997a) Assessing the role of beneficial invertebrates in conventional and integrated farming systems during an outbreak of Sitobion avenae. Biological Agriculture & Horticulture 15, 7382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Holland, J.M. & Thomas, S.R. (1997b) Quantifying the impact of polyphagous invertebrate predators in controlling cereal aphids and in preventing wheat yield and quality reductions. Annals of Applied Biology 131, 375397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Juen, A. & Traugott, M. (2005) Detecting predation and scavenging by DNA gut-content analysis: a case study using a soil insect predator-prey system. Oecologia 142, 344352.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Juen, A. & Traugott, M. (2007) Revealing species-specific trophic links in soil food webs: molecular identification of scarab predators. Molecular Ecology 16, 15451557.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
King, R.A., Read, D.S., Traugott, M. & Symondson, W.O.C. (2008) Molecular analysis of predation: a review of best practice for DNA-based approaches. Molecular Ecology 17, 947963.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Krebs, C.J. (2001) Ecology: The Experimental Analysis of Distribution and Abundance. 801 pp. New York, Harper Collins College Publishers.Google Scholar
Losey, J.E. & Denno, R.F. (1998a) Positive predator-predator interactions: enhanced predation rates and synergistic suppression of aphid populations. Ecology 79, 21432152.Google Scholar
Losey, J.E. & Denno, R.F. (1998b) Interspecific variation in the escape responses of aphids: effect on risk of predation from foliar-foraging and ground-foraging predators. Oecologia 115, 245252.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mann, J.A., Tatchell, G.M., Dupuch, M.J., Harrington, R., Clark, S.J. & McCartney, H.A. (1995) Movement of apterous Sitobion avenae (Homoptera, Aphididae) in response to leaf disturbances caused by wind and rain. Annals of Applied Biology 126, 417427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Masters, G.J., Brown, V.K., Clarke, I.P., Whittaker, J.B. & Hollier, J.A. (1998) Direct and indirect effects of climate change on insect herbivores: Auchenorrhyncha (Homoptera). Ecological Entomology 23, 4552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Narayandas, G.K. & Alyokhin, A.V. (2006) Interplant movement of potato aphid (Homoptera: aphididae) in response to environmental stimuli. Environmental Entomology 35, 733739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ovadia, O. & Schmitz, O.J. (2004) Weather variation and trophic interaction strength: sorting the signal from the noise. Oecologia 140, 398406.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sheppard, S.K. & Harwood, J.D. (2005) Advances in molecular ecology: tracking trophic links through predator-prey food-webs. Functional Ecology 19, 751762.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sopp, P.I., Sunderland, K.D. & Coombes, D.S. (1987) Observations on the number of cereal aphids on the soil in relation to aphid density in winter wheat. Annals of Applied Biology 111, 5357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stiling, P. & Rossi, A.M. (1997) Experimental manipulations of top-down and bottom-up factors in a tri-trophic system. Ecology 78, 16021606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sunderland, K.D. & Vickerman, G.P. (1980) Aphid feeding by some polyphagous predators in relation to aphid density in cereal fields. Journal of Applied Ecology 17, 389396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sunderland, K.D., Crook, N.E., Stacey, D.L. & Fuller, B.J. (1987) A study of feeding by polyphagous predators on cereal aphids using ELISA and gut dissection. Journal of Applied Ecology 24, 907933.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sunderland, K.D. (and 11 others) (1997) Pest control by a community of natural enemies. Acta Jutlandica 72, 271326.Google Scholar
Symondson, W.O.C. (2002) Molecular identification of prey in predator diets. Molecular Ecology 11, 627641.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Symondson, W.O.C., Sunderland, K.D. & Greenstone, M.H. (2002) Can generalist predators be effective biocontrol agents? Annual Review of Entomology 47, 561594.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
von Berg, K., Traugott, M., Symondson, W.O.C. & Scheu, S. (2008) The effects of temperature on detection of prey DNA in two species of carabid beetle. Bulletin of Entomological Research, this issue: 263269.Google Scholar
Watson, S.J. (1983) Effects of weather on the number of cereal aphids. PhD thesis, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.Google Scholar
Watson, S.J. & Carter, N. (1983) Weather and modelling cereal aphid populations in Norfolk (UK). EPPO Bulletin 13, 223227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Winder, L., Hirst, D.J., Carter, N., Wratten, S.D. & Sopp, P.I. (1994) Estimating predation of the grain aphid Sitobion avenae by polyphagous predators. Journal of Applied Ecology 31, 112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zuniga, E. (1991) Effect of parasitism and rainfall on displacement movements of aphids. pp. 250251in Peters, D.C., Webster, J.A. & Chlouber, C.S. (Eds) Proceedings Aphid-Plant Interactions: Populations to Molecules. USDA: ARS and Oklahoma State University Report 177.Google Scholar
9
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Impact of abiotic factors on predator-prey interactions: DNA-based gut content analysis in a microcosm experiment
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Impact of abiotic factors on predator-prey interactions: DNA-based gut content analysis in a microcosm experiment
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Impact of abiotic factors on predator-prey interactions: DNA-based gut content analysis in a microcosm experiment
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *