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Species assemblages of ladybirds including the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis: a comparison at large spatial scale in urban habitats

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Abstract

We evaluated the status of native ladybird assemblages in the presence of the non-native ladybird Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in three European countries. To achieve this, we assessed the abundance of ladybirds from common host plants in urban areas of Great Britain, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic in 2014. We determined (i) the effects of season, host plant, location, abundance of H. axyridis and aphids on the ladybird species assemblage, (ii) the relationship between ladybird abundance and aphid density, (iii) the relationship between diversity of native ladybird species and the abundance of H. axyridis. There was a non-linear relationship between abundance of ladybirds and abundance of aphids but we found the abundance of other ladybird species was not correlated with H. axyridis. We highlight the value of large-spatial scale studies for revealing patterns in community assemblages and ultimately informing understanding of ecosystem resilience.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Lukáš Fiedler and Katie Murray for help in sampling of ladybirds, the EU COST (TD1209 and LD14084) Action Alien Challenge, VEGA 2/0052/15 and 2/0012/17, APVV 14-0567 and grant 7AMB14SK016 provided by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic. Helen Roy is funded through the Biological Record Centre, part of the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, which receives support from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Natural Environment Research Council (via National Capability funding to the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Project NEC04932).

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Correspondence to Sandra Viglášová.

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Viglášová, S., Nedvěd, O., Zach, P. et al. Species assemblages of ladybirds including the harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis: a comparison at large spatial scale in urban habitats. BioControl 62, 409–421 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10526-017-9793-0

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