Jump to Main Content
Aphid density and community composition differentially affect apterous aphid movement and plant virus transmission
- CLAFLIN, SUZI B., POWER, ALISON G., THALER, JENNIFER S.
- Ecological entomology 2017 v.42 no.3 pp. 245-254
- Aphidoidea, Potato virus Y, community structure, pathogens, prediction, species diversity, virus transmission
- 1. Although many vector‐borne pathogens are transmitted by an array of vector species, most studies do not account for the potential effects of species interactions. 2. By manipulating conspecific and heterospecific vector density in small experimental mesocosms, this study disentangled the impact of vector density and community composition on vector movement and plant virus transmission in the potato virus Y system. 3. The following predictions were tested: (i) increasing aphid density will increase aphid movement and virus transmission; (ii) adding low‐efficiency vectors and thereby decreasing the average transmission efficiency of the vector assemblage will decrease virus transmission; and (iii) aphid movement and the average vector transmission efficiency will mediate the effect of aphid density and community composition on virus transmission. 4. It was found that initial density positively affected aphid movement, but had no effect on virus transmission, and that conspecific density was more important than heterospecific density. Conversely, community composition affected both aphid movement and virus transmission. These effects were driven by species identity, rather than species richness per se. 5. The results of this study emphasise the importance of accounting for vector behaviour, and analysing it within the context of the wider vector assemblage.