Intraguild predation: fiction or reality?
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Intraguild predation has become a major research topic in biological control. Quantification of multipredator interactions and an understanding of the consequences on target prey populations are needed, which only highlights the importance of population dynamics models in this field. However, intraguild predation models are usually based on Lotka–Volterra equations, which have been shown not to be adequate for modeling population dynamics of aphidophagous insects and their prey. Here we use a simple model developed for simulation of population dynamics of aphidophagous insects, which is based on the type of egg distribution made by predatory females, to estimate the real strength of intraguild predation in the aphidophagous insects. The model consists of two components: random egg distribution among aphid colonies, and between-season population dynamics of the predatory species. The model is used to estimate the proportion of predatory individuals that face a conflict with a heterospecific competitor at least once during their life. Based on this, predictions are made on the population dynamics of both predatory species. The predictions are confronted with our data on intraguild predation in ladybirds.
KeywordsAphids Biological control Ladybirds Model Population dynamics
This research was supported by the grant DIV/06/E013 of the GA ČR to both authors, by the grants LC06073 of the Czech Ministry of Education and A6087301 of the GA AV ČR to PK, and by the grants FRVŠ 3258/2005 and 206/03/H034 of the Czech Ministry of Education to KH. We would like to thank to Bernhard Stadler for much helpful advice during the preparation of the fieldwork and for lots of comments to the earlier versions of the manuscript. We are also indebted to Laura Papucci-Guibert for her help during the fieldwork.
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