Mortality dynamics and population regulation in Bemisia tabaci

  • Naranjo S
  • Ellsworth P
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Abstract

Natural mortality is an important determinant of the population dynamics of a species, and an understanding of mortality forces should aid in the development of better management strategies for insect pests. An in situ, observational method was used to construct cohort-based life tables for Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) Biotype B (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) over 14 generations on cotton in central Arizona, USA, from 1997 to 1999. In descending order, median marginal rates of mortality were highest for predation, dislodgment, unknown causes, egg inviability, and parasitism. The highest mortality occurred during the 4th nymphal stadium, and the median rate of immature survival over 14 genera- tions was 6.6%. Predation during the 4th nymphal stadium was the primary key factor. Irreplaceable mortality was highest for predation and dislodgment, with the absence of these mortality factors leading to the greatest increases in estimated net reproduction. There was little evidence of direct or delayed density-dependence for any mortality factor. Wind, rainfall, and predator densities were associated with dislodgment, and rates of predation were related to densities of Geocoris spp., Orius tristicolor (White), Chrysoperla carnea s.l. Stephens, and Lygus hesperus Knight. Simulations suggest that immigration and emigration play important roles in site-specific dynamics by explaining departures from observed population trajectories based solely on endogenous reproduction and mortality. By a direct measurement of these mortality factors and indirect evidence of adult movement, we con- clude that efficient pest management may be best accomplished by fostering greater mortality during the 4th stadium, largely through a conservation of predators and by managing immigrating adult populations at their sources.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aleyrodidae
  • Bemisia argentifolii
  • Contemporaneous mortality
  • Cotton
  • Dispersal
  • Homoptera
  • Irreplaceable mortality
  • Key-factor
  • Life tables
  • Pest management
  • Survivorship

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