BACKGROUNDThe complexity of both natural and managed ecosystems involves various forms of interaction among organisms. Two or more species that exploit the same resource can engage in competitive behaviours, usually referred to as intraguild interactions. These can be direct, i.e. one species feeds directly upon the competitor (intraguild predation) or indirect, e.g. when the dominant organism competes for a food source that another organism is feeding upon (kleptoparasitism). We investigated the potential for such interactions in a biological model composed by the South American tomato pinworm, Tuta absoluta, and three of its newly associated natural enemies: the zoophytophagous predator Nesidiocoris tenuis and the two idiobiont ectoparasitoids Bracon nigricans and Necremnus tutae.RESULTSN. tenuis was shown (i) to scavenge on parasitised T. absoluta larvae and (ii) directly to attack and feed upon larvae of both parasitoid species, although at a higher percentage in the case of N. tutae. In the presence of the host plant, the predator reduced the emergence of both B. nigricans and N. tutae adults significantly.CONCLUSIONThis study stresses the ecological success of a generalist predator over indigenous parasitoids attacking an invasive pest. Moreover, these findings provide potential elements for better design of biological control programmes against T. absoluta.
|Titolo:||Insights into food webs associated with the South American tomato pinworm|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|