The effect size of aphid‐tending ants in an agricultural tri‐trophic system

The effect size of aphid‐tending ants in an agricultural tri‐trophic system Most studies regarding ant–aphid interactions focus only on the direct effects of ants on tended aphids and aphidophagous predators, or the indirect effects on the host plant. Studies evaluating the effects of aphid‐tending ants on more than one trophic level are rare and evaluate only the presence or absence of such effects. Here we assessed the effect sizes of ants in a tri‐trophic system (common bean plants, aphids and lacewing larvae). We tested if the presence of aphid‐tending ants has positive effects on aphid abundance and host‐plant production and negative effects on aphid predator abundance. We also hypothesized that aphid‐tending ants affect more intensely trophic levels that are more directly related to them (i.e., first aphids, then aphid predators and then host plants). We tested these hypotheses in field mesocosms experiments using the presence and absence of ants. We found that aphid‐tending ants have great positive effects on final aphid abundance. Ants also positively affected the number of seeds; however, it was not possible to measure the effect size for this trophic level. Furthermore, ants had negative effects on lacewing larvae only at first release. The effect size of ants was greater for aphids, followed by lacewing larvae, and with no effects on the number of seeds produced. Ants positively affect aphids and host‐plant production, probably by way of honeydew collection preventing the development of entomophagous/saprophytic fungi. On the other hand, ants negatively affect lacewing larvae by excluding them from the host plant. In natural systems, several ant species may attend aphids, differently affecting the organisms of the various trophic levels within the ant–aphid interaction, thereby obscuring the real effect size of ants. Assessing the effect size of aphid‐tending ants on the organisms involved in ant–aphid interactions provides more realistic information about the effects of this interaction on natural systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Entomology Wiley

The effect size of aphid‐tending ants in an agricultural tri‐trophic system

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/the-effect-size-of-aphid-tending-ants-in-an-agricultural-tri-trophic-CIgu0pZAqM
Publisher
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
ISSN
0931-2048
eISSN
1439-0418
D.O.I.
10.1111/jen.12475
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Most studies regarding ant–aphid interactions focus only on the direct effects of ants on tended aphids and aphidophagous predators, or the indirect effects on the host plant. Studies evaluating the effects of aphid‐tending ants on more than one trophic level are rare and evaluate only the presence or absence of such effects. Here we assessed the effect sizes of ants in a tri‐trophic system (common bean plants, aphids and lacewing larvae). We tested if the presence of aphid‐tending ants has positive effects on aphid abundance and host‐plant production and negative effects on aphid predator abundance. We also hypothesized that aphid‐tending ants affect more intensely trophic levels that are more directly related to them (i.e., first aphids, then aphid predators and then host plants). We tested these hypotheses in field mesocosms experiments using the presence and absence of ants. We found that aphid‐tending ants have great positive effects on final aphid abundance. Ants also positively affected the number of seeds; however, it was not possible to measure the effect size for this trophic level. Furthermore, ants had negative effects on lacewing larvae only at first release. The effect size of ants was greater for aphids, followed by lacewing larvae, and with no effects on the number of seeds produced. Ants positively affect aphids and host‐plant production, probably by way of honeydew collection preventing the development of entomophagous/saprophytic fungi. On the other hand, ants negatively affect lacewing larvae by excluding them from the host plant. In natural systems, several ant species may attend aphids, differently affecting the organisms of the various trophic levels within the ant–aphid interaction, thereby obscuring the real effect size of ants. Assessing the effect size of aphid‐tending ants on the organisms involved in ant–aphid interactions provides more realistic information about the effects of this interaction on natural systems.

Journal

Journal of Applied EntomologyWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve Freelancer

DeepDyve Pro

Price
FREE
$49/month

$360/year
Save searches from Google Scholar, PubMed
Create lists to organize your research
Export lists, citations
Read DeepDyve articles
Abstract access only
Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles
Print
20 pages/month
PDF Discount
20% off