To forecast the effects of climate change and extreme temperature events on insect population dynamics, the high-temperature tolerance of insects must be taken into account. We compared the life-history characteristics of cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora Koch) across different temperature regimes on two different host plants, soybean (a preferred host) and cotton (a non-preferred host). Most demographic parameters were superior for the aphid on soybean than on cotton. Temperatures affected aphid development more on cotton than on soybean. The intrinsic rate of increase, reproduction rate, number of progeny per adult, and longevity were significantly higher on soybean than on cotton for the same temperature regime. Temperatures that fluctuated to extreme levels caused a rapid decline in each of these parameters for aphids fed on cotton, but not for those fed on soybean. To our knowledge, this is the first report to note that the high-temperature tolerance of A. craccivora is host-specific (cotton vs. soybean). Our findings may partly explain the observed niche switching of the cowpea aphid (Aphis craccivora) from cotton to soybean at the beginning of summer when the temperature goes up in the Xinjiang cotton-growing zone (Northwest China). This host mediation of high-temperature tolerance in aphids should be taken into account when modeling population dynamics under the influence of global warming, host adaptation, and the risk analysis of alien pest invasions.
Global warming, Host plant effects, Seasonal dynamics, Population declines, Host adaptation
Zhaozhi, L., Likai, F., Guizhen, G., Ling-Ling, G., Han, P., Sharma, S., and Zalucki, M.P. (2017). Differences in the high-temperature tolerance of Aphis craccivora (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on cotton and soybean: implications for ecological niche switching among hosts. Appl Entomol Zool 52, 9–18. DOI: 10.1007/s13355-016-0446-z