Influence of the surrounding landscape on the colonization rate of cereal aphids and phytovirus transmission in autumn
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Ecological control has often focused on factors enhancing control of pests by their natural enemies, while factors reducing the colonization rate of crops by pests have been comparatively neglected. We present an approach to assess landscape influence on the intensity of wheat colonization by a major crop pest, the aphid Rhopalosiphum padi. We used trays containing wheat seedlings to monitor field colonization by R. padi and barley yellow dwarf viruses’ transmission in two areas in France in autumn. We assessed the influence of landscape components likely affecting aphid colonization, i.e. maize and grasslands as source of migrants on the number of aphids landing per tray, as well as the host plant of origin and the viruliferous potential of migrants. During the survey, maize was the main source of migrants. Virus transmission was detected in a few cases (4 % positive assays). Colonization was increased by the presence of maize, but reduced by the presence of grasslands at the landscape scale considered here (i.e. at a radius of 1000 m). Our study contributes to a better understanding of disease dynamics in agricultural landscapes. By identifying features of the landscape that surrounds fields and affects these dynamics, growers can develop more efficient crop protection strategies relying on habitat manipulation and rational use of pesticides.
KeywordsLandscape ecology Crop colonization Rhopalosiphum padi Isotopic analyses Barley yellow dwarf virus
We thank A. Whibley, J. Wintersinger and J. Foucaud for helpful comments on the manuscript. We thank the farmers from ARM and PVS who allowed us to work in their fields. We also acknowledge V. Turpaud Fizzala and I. Badenhausser for their assistance in PVS, L. Mieuzet for help during ELISA tests and J. Bonhomme for helpful advice on the study design. We thank C. Scrimgeour, L. Hunter, H. Kemp and W. Meier-Augenstein for performing isotopic analyses at the Mylnefield Research Services, Scotland, UK. “ANR Landscaphid” (ANR-09-STRA-05) and “ANR Biodivagrim” are also acknowledged. Landscape mapping in both ARM and PVS is supported by the Zone Atelier program and the Institut National de l’Ecologie et de l’Environnement. This research was supported by Bayer CropScience France and a C.I.F.R.E. grant from the Association Nationale de la Recherche Technique.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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