Insect Science (2019) 26, 881-896
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Relative importance of long-term changes in climate and land-use on the phenology and abundance of legume crop specialist and generalist aphids
Insect Science 26 (5), 881-896
Abstract: Insect populations are prone to respond to global changes through shifts in phenology, distribution and abundance. However, global changes cover several factors such as climate and land-use, the relative importance of these being largely unknown. Here, we aim at disentangling the effects of climate, land-use, and geographical drivers on aphid abundance and phenology in France, at a regional scale and over the last 40 years. We used aerial data obtained from suction traps between 1978 and 2015 on five aphid species varying in their degree of specialization to legumes, along with climate, legume crop area and geographical data. Effects of environmental and geographical variables on aphid annual abundance and spring migration dates were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models. We found that within the last four decades, aphids have advanced their spring migration by a month, mostly due to the increase in temperature early in the year, and their abundance decreased by half on average, presumably in response to a combination of factors. The influence of legume crop area decreased with the degree of specialization of the aphid species to such crops. The effect of geographical variation was high even when controlling for environmental variables, suggesting that many other spatially structured processes act on aphid population characteristics. Multifactorial analyses helped to partition the effects of different global change drivers. Climate and land-use changes have strong effects on aphid populations, with important implications for future agriculture. Additionally, trait-based response variation could have major consequences at the community scale.
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