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Oecologia

, Volume 81, Issue 1, pp 104–110 | Cite as

Interactions among phytophagous insect species colonizing cones of white fir (Abies concolor)

  • Patrick J. Shea
Original Papers

Summary

The insect complex colonizing white fir (Abies concolor [Gord. and Glend.] Lindl.) cones is composed of eleven species that can be separated into three feeding guilds: the seed-mining guild, Megastigmus pinus Parfitt, M. rafni Hoffmeyer, Earomyia abietum McAlpine; the cone-and seed-mining guild, Dioryctria abietivorella Grote, Eucosma prob. siskiyouana (Kearfoot), Cydia prob. bracteatana (Fernald), Barbara sp.; the scale-and bract-feeding guild, Asynapta hokinsi (Felt), Dasineura prob. abiesemia Foote, Ressiliella conicola (Foote), Lasiomma abietis Huckett). In three of four study sites the cone crop decreased from one year to the next. As cone crop size decreased there was a concomitant increase in the percent of cones with more than one species. In addition, there was a shift toward an increased co-occurrence of members of different guilds within a single cone. Both positive and negative interactions were detected between selected species-pairs. Present-day competition was only inferred between species-pairs belonging to the cone and seed-mining guild. Decreasing resources over time, combined with increasing insect populations and the absence of acceptable alternate hosts appeared to be important factors for setting conditions conducive to interspecific competition. It is hypothesized, that the aperiodicity of white fir cone crops was important in keeping insect populations below levels which would result in interspecific competition. The possible elimination of aperiodicity in cone crops of white fir, such as might occur in managed seed orchards, may lead to decreased species diversity via competitive exclusion and thereby simplify development of IPM programs.

Key words

Cone/seed insects Competition Abies concolor Interactions 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick J. Shea
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment StationUSDA/Forest ServiceBerkeleyUSA

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