Oecologia (2003) 135, 442-450

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Valérie Fournier, Jay A. Rosenheim, Jacques Brodeur, Lee O. Laney and Marshall W. Johnson (2003)
Herbivorous mites as ecological engineers: indirect effects on arthropods inhabiting papaya foliage
Oecologia 135 (3), 442-450
Abstract: We examined the potential of a leaf roller to indirectly influence a community of arthropods. Two mite species are the key herbivores on papaya leaves in Hawaii: a spider mite, Tetranychus cinnabarinus Boisduval, and an eriophyid mite, Calacarus flagelliseta, which induces upward curling of the leaf margin at the end of the summer when populations reach high densities. A survey and three manipulative field experiments demonstrated that (1) leaf rolls induce a consistent shift in the spatial distribution of spider mites and their predators, the coccinellid Stethorus siphonulus Kapur, the predatory mites Phytoseiulus spp., and the tangle-web building spider Nesticodes rufipes Lucas; (2) the overall abundance of spiders increases on leaves with rolls; (3) the specialist predators Stethorus and Phytoseiulus inhabit the rolls in response to their spider mite prey; and (4) the spider inhabits the rolls in response to the architecture of the roll itself. This study shows the importance of indirect effects in structuring a terrestrial community of herbivores.
(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): Valérie Fournier, Jay A. Rosenheim, Marshall W. Johnson

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


Pest and/or beneficial records:

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


Tetranychus cinnabarinus Papaya (Carica papaya) U.S.A. (Hawaii)
Calacarus flagelliseta Papaya (Carica papaya) U.S.A. (Hawaii)
Nesticodes rufipes (predator) Tetranychus cinnabarinus Papaya (Carica papaya) U.S.A. (Hawaii)
Nesticodes rufipes (predator) Calacarus flagelliseta Papaya (Carica papaya) U.S.A. (Hawaii)
Stethorus siphonulus (predator) Tetranychus cinnabarinus Papaya (Carica papaya) U.S.A. (Hawaii)