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A lack of native congeners may limit colonization of introduced conifers by indigenous insects in Europe

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Abstract:

We compared the recruitment of phytophagous arthropod pests onto exotic conifers introduced in Europe without any congeners with that of exotic conifers that have native congeners. In 130 years of extensive plantation forestry in Europe, Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) recruited only 87 arthropod species, i.e., only 33.9% of the number of associated arthropod species in its native range (257 spp.). Exotic species of Cupressaceae without indigenous congeners also recruited only a portion (3.4% to 57.9%) of the arthropod fauna observed in their native range. In both cases, the majority of the recruited species were polyphagous, i.e., that they can feed on plants of different families of conifers and (or) angiosperms. In contrast, exotic conifers with native congeners recruited most of the insects colonizing the native congeneric conifers. Differences in arthropod recruitment were observed according to both guild and feeding habit, with the externally feeding herbivores being dominant. Typically, the damage caused by native insects that had been recruited by exotic conifers without congeners was limited, whereas the damage caused by native insects that had been recruited by exotic conifers with congeners often led to severe outbreaks at the time the shift between hosts occurred. However, when a highly specialized exotic insect was introduced along with the host, the invasive insect tended to occupy the entire niche, causing more damage than in the original range, in the absence of natural enemies and indigenous competitors.

Le recrutement d'arthropodes phytophages par des conifers exotiques introduits en Europe sans congénères autochtones a été comparé à celui de conifères exotiques présentant des congénères natifs. En 130 ans de plantations importantes en Europe, le sapin de Douglas (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) n'a recruté que 87 espèces d'arthropodes, soit seulement 33,9 % du total des 257 espèces qui y sont associées dans la zone d'origine. Les espèces exotiques de Cupressacées sans congénères natifs n'ont recruté que de 3,4 à 57,9 % autant d'espèces que dans leur zone native. Dans tous ces cas, la plupart des insectes sont polyphages et capables de se nourrir sur différentes familles de conifères et (ou) d'angiospermes. A l'opposé, la plupart des insectes colonisant les conifères présentant des congénères proviennent de ces congénères. On a aussi observé des différences de recrutement selon la guilde et les types alimentaires, avec une dominance des herbivores se nourrissant de manière externe sur le feuillage. Les insectes recrutés ne produisent que rarement des dégâts, voire des pullulations, sur les conifères sans congénères natifs. En revanche, l'introduction d'insectes exotiques hautement spécialisés (comme le chalcidien des graines de Douglas) se traduit par une occupation maximale de la niche considérée, en l'absence d'ennemis naturels comme de compétiteurs indigènes.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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