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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Parasitism rate differs between herbivore generations in the univoltine, but not bivoltine, range

Gaytan, Alvaro; Drobyshev, Igor; Klisho, Tatiana; Gotthard, Karl; Tack, Ayco J. M.

Abstract

With climate change, plant-feeding insects increase their number of annual generations (voltinism). However, to what degree the emergence of a new herbivore generation affects the parasitism rate has not been explored. We performed a field experiment to test whether the parasitism rate differs between the first and the second generations of a specialist leaf miner (Tischeria ekebladella), both in the naturally univoltine and bivoltine parts of the leaf miner's distribution. We found an interactive effect between herbivore generation and geographical range on the parasitism rate. The parasitism rate was higher in the first compared to the second host generation in the part of the range that is naturally univoltine, whereas it did not differ between generations in the bivoltine range. Our experiment highlights that shifts in herbivore voltinism might release top-down control, with potential consequences for natural and applied systems.

Published in

PLoS ONE
2023, Volume: 18, number: 11, article number: e0294275
Publisher: PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE