Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 764–772 | Cite as

Biotransfer, Bioaccumulation and Effects of Herbivore Dietary Co, Cu, Ni, and Zn on Growth and Development of the Insect Predator Podisus maculiventris (Say)

  • Dorothy J. Cheruiyot
  • Robert S. BoydEmail author
  • Thomas A. Coudron
  • Paul A. Cobine


Increased metal availability in the environment can be detrimental for the growth and development of all organisms in a food web. In part, this toxicity is due to biotransfer or bioaccumulation of metals between trophic levels. We evaluated the survival, growth, and development of a generalist Hemipteran predator (Podisus maculiventris) when fed herbivorous prey (Spodoptera exigua) reared on artificial diet amended with Cu, Zn, Ni, and Co. Predator nymphs were fed S. exigua larvae raised on diet amended with sublethal (Minimum Sublethal Concentration or MSC) or lethal (Minimum Lethal Concentration or MLC) concentrations of each metal, as well as control diet. We determined if metals were biotransferred or bioaccumulated from the diet to herbivore and predator, as well as if predator growth or survival was affected by herbivore diet. Podisus maculiventris fed herbivores raised on MLC levels of both Cu and Zn took significantly longer to mature to adults, whereas their overall survival was not affected by prey diet metal concentration for any metal. Adult weights were significantly reduced for predators raised on herbivores reared on diets amended with the MLC of Cu and Zn. Copper and Zn were bioaccumulated from diet to herbivore and from herbivore to predator, whereas Ni was biotransferred (although concentrations decreased as trophic level increased). The pattern for Co was more complex, with biotransfer the main outcome. Our results show that availability of metals in a food web can affect growth and development of a hemipteran predator, and that metals are transferred between trophic levels, with metal-specific biotransfer and bioaccumulation outcomes.


Biotransfer Bioaccumulation Heavy metals Herbivory Info-disruption Trophic effect Hemiptera Pentatomidae Podisus maculiventris Spodoptera exigua 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy J. Cheruiyot
    • 1
  • Robert S. Boyd
    • 2
    Email author
  • Thomas A. Coudron
    • 3
  • Paul A. Cobine
    • 2
  1. 1.Brookstone SchoolColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA
  3. 3.USDA- Agricultural Research ServiceColumbiaUSA

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