Ecology Letters (2012) 15, 310-318

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James R. Bell, Eric C. Burkness, Alice E. Milne, David W. Onstad, Mark Abrahamson, Krista L. Hamilton and William D. Hutchison (2012)
Putting the brakes on a cycle: bottom-up effects damp cycle amplitude
Ecology Letters 15 (4), 310-318
Abstract: Pest population density oscillations have a profound effect on agroecosystem functioning, particularly when pests cycle with epidemic persistence. Here, we ask whether landscape-level manipulations can be used to restrict the cycle amplitude of the European corn borer moth [Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner)], an economically important maize pest. We analysed time series from Minnesota (1963-2009) and Wisconsin (1964-2009) to quantify the extent of regime change in the US Corn Belt where rates of transgenic Bt maize adoption varied. The introduction of Bt maize explained cycle damping when the adoption of the crop was high (Minnesota); oscillations were damped but continued to persist when Bt maize was used less intensely (Wisconsin). We conclude that host plant quality is key to understanding both epidemic persistence and the success of intervention strategies. In particular, the dichotomy in maize management between states is thought to limit the spatial autocorrelation of O. nubilalis.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Eric C. Burkness, William (Bill) D. Hutchison

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
population dynamics/ epidemiology
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
environment/habitat manipulation

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Ostrinia nubilalis Maize/corn (Zea mays) U.S.A. (mid N)
Bacillus thuringiensis genes in crops (entomopathogen) Ostrinia nubilalis Maize/corn (Zea mays) U.S.A. (mid N)