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Does temperature-mediated reproductive success drive the direction of species displacement in two invasive species of leafminer fly?

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Liriomyza sativae and L. trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae) are two highly invasive species of leafmining flies, which have become established as pests of horticultural crops throughout the world. In certain regions where both species have been introduced, L. sativae has displaced L. trifolii, whereas the opposite has occurred in other regions. These opposing outcomes suggest that neither species is an inherently superior competitor. The regions where these displacements have been observed (southern China, Japan and western USA) are climatically different. We determined whether temperature differentially affects the reproductive success of these species and therefore if climatic differences could affect the outcome of interspecific interactions where these species are sympatric. The results of life table parameters indicate that both species can develop successfully at all tested temperatures (20, 25, 31, 33 degrees C). L. sativae had consistently higher fecundities at all temperatures, but L. trifolii developed to reproductive age faster. Age-stage specific survival rates were higher for L. sativae at low temperatures, but these were higher for L. trifolii at higher temperatures. We then compared the net reproductive rates (R-0) for both species in pure and mixed cultures maintained at the same four constant temperatures. Both species had significantly lower net reproductive rates in mixed species cultures compared with their respective pure species cultures, indicating that both species are subject to intense interspecific competition. Net reproductive rates were significantly greater for L. sativae than for L. trifolii in mixed species groups at the lower temperatures, whereas the opposite occurred at the higher temperature. Therefore, interactions between the species are temperature dependent and small differences could shift the competitive balance between the species. These temperature mediated effects may contribute to the current ongoing displacement of L. sativae by the more recent invader L. trifolii in warm climatic areas of China.
Journal: PLoS ONE
Issue: 6
Volume: 9
Number of pages: 1
Publication year:2014