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Post hibernation dispersal of three leaf-eating beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) colonising cultivated willows and poplars

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Abstract:

Summary

1 We studied the spring dispersal of three common chrysomelids, from overwintering habitats into cultivated willow and poplar coppices at four sites in southern England over 2 years.

2 Adult Galerucella lineola, Phratora vulgatissima and P. vitellinae overwintered under the bark of mature trees or in other niches that simulated this habitat, within a few hundred metres of the coppice plantation. Relatively few beetles remained in the coppice fields during the winter.

3 Phratora vitellinae at the poplar sites emerged several weeks later than G. lineola and P. vulgatissima at the willow sites, reflecting the later leafing of poplar compared to willow. For all species, dispersal was by flight, with most activity during warm periods. Dispersal continued for several weeks for the willow- feeding species but was shorter for P. vitellinae.

4 All three species initially colonized the edge of the coppice field. Typically, 80% or more of the beetles colonising a plantation were within 8 m of the edge. Both Phratora spp. accumulated in the plantation edge zone for several weeks before leaving this area and colonising the crop interior.

5 The patterns of dispersal and colonization identified by this study may facilitate chrysomelid management practices in infested short rotation coppice that avoid the need for insecticide applications over the entire plantation.

KeywordsChrysomelidae, Galerucella lineola, Phratora vitellinae, Phratora vulgatissima, poplar, short rotation coppice, willow, winter dispersal.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1461-9563.1999.00001.x

Affiliations: The Game Conservancy Trust, Fordingbridge, Hampshire SP6 1EF, U.K.

Publication date: February 1, 1999

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