Competition and niche relationships among Eriosoma aphids occurring on the Japanese elm
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- Akimoto, S. Oecologia (1988) 75: 44. doi:10.1007/BF00378812
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Galls of more than one species of Eriosoma (Aphidoidea) are found sympatrically even on single trees. Incipient galls are frequently invaded by conspecific and/or allospecific fundatrices. Eriosoma yangi, a component of Eriosoma communities, does not form its own galls but obligatorily usurps those of other species. There were interspecific differences in the timing of gall formation and the spatial distribution of galls. Nevertheless E. yangi fundatrices randomly invaded galls of any Eriosoma species and occupied 33%–41% of galls of each species. When more than one E. yangi fundatrix invaded one gall, mortal fights sometimes occurred. Fundatrices of gall-forming species also seemed to take part in such fights. Fundatrices of gall-forming species had a significant tendency to invade galls of a particular species. However, taking account of niche differences among species, invaders apparently entered available galls at random. Apparently E. yangi fundatrices search an extensive range within a branch for galls, while invaders of gall-forming species search a restricted speciesspecific range. The niche relation of gall-forming species in a northern community containing E. yangi were compared with those in a southern community lacking E. yangi. No obvious difference was found between them, suggesting that parasitism by E. yangi has not influenced niche divergence within the Eriosoma community.