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Thermal plasticity potentially mediates the interaction between host Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) and endoparasitoid Cotesia flavipes Cameron (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in rapidly changing environments

Mutamiswa, Reyard, Chidawanyika, Frank, Nyamukondiwa, Casper
Pest management science 2018 v.74 no.6 pp. 1335-1345
Chilo partellus, Cotesia flavipes, acclimation, adults, agroecosystems, biogeography, biological control, boring insects, decision making, endoparasitoids, global change, heat, host-parasitoid relationships, larvae, pest management, physiological response, plasticity, pupae, supercooling point, temperature
BACKGROUND: Increasing climatic average temperatures and variability elicit various insect physiological responses that affect fitness and survival and may influence subsequent trophic interactions in agroecosystems. In this background, we investigated short‐ and long‐term plastic responses to temperature of the laboratory‐reared stemborer Chilo partellus and its larval endoparasitoid Cotesia flavipes. RESULTS: Rapid cold‐ and heat‐hardening effects in C. partellus larvae, pupae and adults and C. flavipes adults were highly significant (P < 0.001). High‐temperature acclimation improved critical thermal limits and heat knockdown time in C. partellus larvae and C. flavipes adults, respectively. Low‐temperature acclimation enhanced the supercooling point in C. flavipes and the chill coma recovery time in both C. partellus larvae and C. flavipes adults. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that thermal plasticity may enhance the survival of these two species when they are subjected to lethal low and high temperatures. However, C. partellus appeared to be more plastic than C. flavipes. These results have three major implications: (1) C. partellus may inhabit slightly warmer environments than C. flavipes, suggesting a potential mismatch in biogeography; (2) host–parasitoid relationships are complex and are probably trait dependent, and (3) host–parasitoid differential thermal plastic responses may offset biocontrol efficacy. These results may help inform biocontrol decision making under conditions of global change. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry