HOMED research investigates cross-generational intraspecific competition in herbivore species
A peer-reviewed preprint article recently published on the BioRxiv platform presents the results of a study on the host-plant competition between conspecific insect herbivores. The paper called "Host-mediated, cross-generational intraspecific competition in a herbivore species" provides the results of a study on tree moth females (Cydalima perspectalis Walker, Lepidoptera: Crambidae) exposed to box trees (Buxus sempervirens L., Buxaceae).
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Authors of the article, amongst whom HOMED researchers, performed a choice experiment on female moths by exposing them to box trees that were either undamaged or attacked by conspecific larvae earlier in the season. Results of the experiment discovered that early season herbivory reduces the performance of conspecific individuals on the same host plant later in the growing season.
The evidence provided in the research paper shows that insect herbivory also influences the performance of conspecific herbivores, which may ultimately control the overall amount of damage that herbivore species can cause to plants. The results highlight the ecological importance of time-lagged intraspecific cross-generational competition as a possible plant protection related activity.
Read the full article here.