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Tree species diversity reduces the invasibility of maritime pine stands by the bast scale, Matsucoccus feytaudi (Homoptera: Margarodidae)

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Abstract:

Species-rich plant communities may be more resistant to invasive herbivores because of reduced host-plant accessibility and increased natural enemy diversity and abundance. We tested these hypotheses in Corsica, a Mediterranean island recently invaded by the maritime pine bast scale, Matsucoccus feytaudi Duc., which causes widespread tree mortality in Pinus pinaster Ait. The endemic Matsucoccus pini Green infests Corsican pine, Pinus nigra laricio Poiret, where it is controlled by the native predatory bug Elatophilus nigricornis Zetterstedt. As revealed by kairomone trapping, E. nigricornis was most abundant in pure Corsican pine in areas not yet colonized by M. feytaudi, and in pure maritime pine its density decreased with the distance from the nearest Corsican pine forest. The abundance of M. feytaudi was compared in five pairs of pure maritime pine and mixed maritime and Corsican pine stands. It was consistently higher in pure than in mixed maritime pine stands, whereas E. nigricornis showed the opposite pattern, and relative differences were correlated with the proportion of Corsican pine in the mixture. The predation by E. nigricornis was manipulated in pure maritime pine stands using synthetic attractants of the predator. Matsucoccus feytaudi density was significantly reduced in maritime pines baited with kairomone dispensers.

Les communautés végétales riches en espèces seraient plus résistantes aux invasions d'herbivores en limitant l'accessibilité aux plantes hôtes et en favorisant les ennemis naturels généralistes. Nous avons testé ces hypothèses en Corse, une île méditerranéenne récemment envahie par la cochenille du pin maritime Matsucoccus feytaudi Duc., une espèce qui provoque une mortalité généralisée du pin maritime (Pinus pinaster Ait.). L'espèce endémique Matsucoccus pini Green, sur pin laricio (Pinus nigra laricio Poiret), est contrôlée par la punaise prédatrice Elatophilus nigricornis Zetterstedt. Utilisant le piégeage kairomonal, nous avons montré que, hors de la zone envahie par M. feytaudi, l'abondance de E. nigricornis est maximale dans les peuplements purs de pin laricio. Dans les peuplements de pin maritime, elle décroît avec leur distance au plus proche pin laricio. Les densités de M. feytaudi ont été comparées dans cinq paires de peuplements purs de pin maritime ou mélangés avec du pin laricio. Elles sont significativement plus élevées dans les peuplements purs de pin maritime alors que E. nigricornis montre une distribution inverse. Ces différences entre peuplements purs et mixtes sont corrélées à la proportion de pin laricio dans les mélanges. En attirant E. nigricornis à l'aide de kairomones dans des peuplements purs de pin maritime, une reduction significative du taux d'accroissement des populations de M. feytaudi a été observée.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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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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