Impact of Wheat‐Mung Bean Intercropping on English Grain Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Populations and Its Natural Enemy

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The effects of intercropping wheat, Triticum aestivum L., with mung bean, Vigna radiate L., on the populations of English grain aphid, Sitobion avenae (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and its natural enemies were evaluated by field and laboratory experiments. The population densities of aphids and their natural enemies were evaluated in the intercropped field against different row ratio combinations of wheat‐mung bean. Results showed that wheat‐mung bean intercropping caused a drop in aphid densities, and the ratio 12 wheat:4 mung bean brought about the largest drop (>18%). In addition, the population densities of coccinellids (ladybirds) and parasitoids and the species diversity of all the natural enemies of aphid were higher in the intercropped field than in the field planted only with wheat. However, intercropping did not influence the community indices (evenness and index of dominance concentration) of the natural enemies. Y-tube olfactometer bioassays were carried out in the laboratory to test whether odor blends of host and nonhost plants affect the host selection of S. avenae. Bioassays indicated that both apterous and alate aphids significantly preferred host plant odor over odor blends of host and intercropped species. Hence, the olfactory-based host location of aphids in the field might be affected by intercropping. The intercropping experiment clearly showed that increased crop species diversity suppresses aphid population growth and preserves the population of natural enemies of aphids. Our results also provide support for the “resource concentration hypothesis” and the “enemies hypothesis.”

Keywords: Sitobion avenae; community index; intercropping; natural enemy; wheat

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2012

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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