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The effect of reducing growth in winter wheat on the population dynamics of the grain aphid Sitobion avenae (F.)

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1 The effect of reducing the growth of winter wheat on population size and development of the grain aphid Sitobion avenae was studied.

2 Automatic, mobile, crop shading devices, which reduced radiation comparable to levels found on a cloudy day, whilst minimizing other climatic changes, were used to reduce crop growth. Shading was applied between either GS 31 and 39 (1st node detectable → flag leaf ligule just visible) or GS 39 and 55 (flag leaf just visible → 50% of inflorescence emerged).

3 Sitobion avenae populations were initiated at GS 55 and highest populations were subsequently observed on plants shaded between GS 31 and 39.

4 Individual aphids confined within clip cages were observed to measure development from birth to adult moult, adult lifespan and fecundity. Results indicated that adult lifespan was shortest on plants shaded between GS31 and 39, whilst there were no differences in development time or fecundity.

5 Possible explanations for these observations are discussed.
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Keywords: Cereal aphids; Sitobion avenae; growth; shading; wheat

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Seale-Hayne Faculty, University of Plymouth, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 6NQ, U.K., 2: School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB, U.K. and

Publication date: 1999-11-01

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