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Two-year oscillation cycle in abundance of soybean aphid in Indiana

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• The present study evaluated the population dynamics of the heteroecious soybean aphid Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae) during an 8-year period in Indiana, shortly after its detection in North America. Sampling conducted at multiple locations revealed that A. glycines exhibited a 2-year oscillation cycle that repeated itself four times between 2001 and 2008: years of low aphid abundance were consistently followed by years of high aphid abundance.

• Similar patterns of abundance of A. glycines and coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in soybean fields, both within and between-years, suggest that late season predation by coccinellids plays a role in the oscillatory cycle of aphids. Insidious flower bugs Orius insidiosus (Say) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) were numerically more abundant than coccinellids, although the lack of synchrony between aphids and predatory bugs suggests that O. insidiosus has a limited influence on between-year variations in aphid density.

• The inverse relationship between aphid densities before and after the start of the autumn migratory period changes direction in alternate years. High aphid density on soybean in the summer is associated with a reduced number of alate migrants produced in the autumn. Conversely, years with low density aphids on soybean in the summer are characterized by high numbers of alates that migrate to the primary host in the autumn.

• From a pest management perspective, the 2-year oscillation cycle of A. glycines is a desirable attribute with respect to population dynamics because it implies that aphids cause significant economic damage only in alternate years (as opposed to every year). Cultural practices enhancing the conservation biological control of Coccinellidae may help to preserve the periodicity of aphid infestation and restrict the pest status of A. glycines.

Keywords: Aphididae; Aphis glycines; Hemiptera; Rhamnus; autumn migration; heteroecy; seesaw effect; soybean aphid

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-08-01

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