Distribution of the aphid Hyalopterus pruni GEOFFR within and between habitats of common reed Phragmites australis TRIN ex STEUDEL as a result of migration and population growth
Mook, J.H.; Wiegers, J.
Limnologica 29(1): 64-70
The aphid Hyalopterus pruni migrates to its secondary host Common Reed in late spring and early summer. Reed fields are known to be more heavily infested at the edges compared to the centre, as the migrants are attracted to the colour of the reed. There is also evidence that reeds growing at wet sites are more heavily infested than at dry sites. This paper shows that both processes interact in determining the distribution of aphids in different habitats. The observations were carried out in the vast reed field of the Zuidelijk Flevoland polder (The Netherlands) during a number of years after its reclamation in 1968. In the period of migration flying aphids were caught with sticky traps situated in and around the reed field. The distribution of aphids on the reed was determined at different times during the season along transects through the centre of the polder. The existence early in the season (June) of a higher infestation at the edges than in the centre of the field was confirmed. The density of winged aphids in this early period was higher in wet than in dry habitats, which may have been a result of a preference of the settling migrants for reed standing in water. Later in the season (August) the dry habitat still had a relatively low infestation in the centre, but at the wet sites the infestation was high everywhere. This could be attributed to the much quicker population growth that was found in the wet habitat and subsequent short range movement of newly born winged aphids.