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International Journal of Tropical Insect Science

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 709–718 | Cite as

Host-Plant Patches as Islands: Effects of Patch Size, Patch Extinction and Seasonality of a Herbaceous Tropical Legume (Crotalaria Pallida Ait.) On a Pod Borer (Etiella Zinckenella (Treit.)) and its Parasitoids

  • Alejandro E. Segarra-Carmona
  • Pedro Barbosa
Research Article

Abstract

Surveys were conducted in 1981, 1983 and 1984 across the island of Puerto Rico to determine the effects of patch characteristics of the tropical herbaceous legume, Crotalaria pallida Ait. on the herbivore and its parasitoids. The mean number of flower racemes per plant and mature pods per raceme varied from year to year and appeared to be influenced by rainfall patterns, but were independent of patch size or plant density. Low larval parasitism was also observed during dry seasons. Proportion of plant patches colonized by Etiella zinckenella was smallest during dry seasons. Local extinction of C. pallida patches was found commonly, with a 77.4% extinction rate during a 6-month period. Patch extinction, which was caused mainly by human activity, was independent of patch size.

Pods of C. pallida within patches were inspected for lima bean pod borer, E. zinckenella (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae) injury. The number of pods bored per mature raceme, and the per cent of bored pods were positively correlated with the number of host-plants per patch and the (surface) area of the patch. No correlation was found between per cent parasitism and pod borer larval density. However, per cent parasitism was influenced directly by C. pallida plant density and patch surface area. Given the transient nature of C. pallida patches and the changes that occur over a season, these positive responses of parasitoids to plant density and patch surface area are important components for their successful exploitation of larval hosts.

Key Words

Patch dynamics patch extinction scasonality Etiella zinckenella Crotalaria pallida tri-trophic interactions 

Résumé

Des enquêtes menées en 1981, 1983 et 1984 sur toute l’étendue de l’Ile de Puerto Rico visant à déterminer les caractéristiques des parcelles de la légumineuse Crotalaria pallida Ait et les effets qu’elle pourrait avoir sur les ravageursde cette plante et leurs parasitoïdes. Le nombre moyen de grappes et celui des gousses parvenant à maturité par plant varie suivant les années et semble dépendre des variations pluviométriques, alors que les dimensions des parcelles et la densité des plants par parcelle ne semblent pas exercer d’effet. Le parasitisme larvaire pendant les saisons sèches est également bas. La proportion de parcelles de plants infestées par Etiella zinckenella était également basse au coins des saisons sèches. Des extinctions de C. pallida dans les parcelles atteignant 77.4% en 6 mois out été en général notées. Ces disparitions dans les parcelles dues aux activités humaines sont indépendantes des dimensions des parcelles. Des enquêtes ont été effectuées sur les dégâts causes par le foreur de gousses du haricot, E. zinckenella (Lepidoptera: Phycitidae). II a été établi une corrélation positive entre le nombre de gousses forées par grappe murie, le pourcentage de gousses forées avec le nombre de plantes hôtes par parcelle de même qu’avec la superficie de la parcelle considérée. Aucune relation n’a été observée entre le pourcentage de parasitisme et la densité larvaire du foreur; cependant une influence directe de la densité deC. pallida et la surface de la parcelle considérée sur le degré de parasitisme est observée. Considérant la nature éphémère des parcelles de distribution de C.pallida et les changements qui surviennent au cours d’une saison, les relations positives observées entre parasitoïdes, densité de plants et la superficie plantée sont des composantes importantes pour une utilisation judicieuse des hôtes de larves.

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Copyright information

© ICIPE 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandro E. Segarra-Carmona
    • 1
  • Pedro Barbosa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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