Main content area

Migration patterns and winter population dynamics of rice planthoppers in Indochina: New perspectives from field surveys and atmospheric trajectories

Wu, Qiulin, Hu, Gao, Tuan, Hoang Anh, Chen, Xiao, Lu, Minghong, Zhai, Baoping, Chapman, Jason W.
Agricultural and forest meteorology 2019 v.265 pp. 99-109
Fulgoroidea, altitude, autumn, crop production, fallow, insect pests, light traps, migratory behavior, overwintering, population dynamics, rice, spring, summer, surveys, wind, winter, China, Indochina, Japan, Korean Peninsula, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam
Rice planthoppers (RPH) are the most serious insect pests of rice production in East Asia, frequently out-breaking in China, Korea and Japan each summer. They are unable to overwinter in temperate East Asia, and summer populations arise anew each year via northward spring migration from south-east Asia. The annual migration cycle is generally believed to be a closed loop with mass returns to south-east Asia in the autumn, but this leg of the journey and the overwintering dynamics are much less studied than the spring immigrations. Previous studies have indicated that the north-central Vietnam (NCV) region is a key location for both the spring colonisation of China and for receiving return migrants from southern China each autumn. However, NCV experiences a three-month rice-free fallow period during mid-winter, and so it cannot be the principal over-wintering region for RPH populations. In this study, the continental-scale migration patterns of RPH in East Asia were explored using data from light trap catches, field surveys and atmospheric trajectory simulations. Our results confirmed that large numbers of return migrants arrive in NCV from southern China each autumn, but that they are unable to survive there over winter. The NCV region is recolonised in the early-spring (mid-February to mid-March) of each year by migrants from winter rice-growing regions in north-east Thailand, southern Laos and south-central coastal Vietnam, which are transported on favourable high-altitude synoptic winds. The following generation initiates the colonisation of East Asia from a large source population in NCV. Our results provide a new perspective on RPH migration patterns and over-wintering dynamics in East Asia, which is governed by crop production, environmental conditions and synoptic wind patterns at a continental scale.