Influences of Pea Morphology and Interacting Factors on Pea Aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum)
I demonstrate that pea plant (Pisum sativum L.) architecture only affects the reproduction rate of pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris)) under extreme and variable environmental conditions, and that plant shape does not interact with other mechanisms which control aphid reproduction. Experiments do indicate that aphid reproduction is positively density-dependent. I found that reproduction was decreased on a pea morphology with no tendrils and many small leaves but only when warmer temperatures were experienced in a greenhouse in April. I speculate that environmental conditions similar to my findings may be the explanation for previously reported effects. In addition, plant morphology and prey distribution did not have an effect on the consumption of pea aphids by lady beetles. However, there was a significant relationship between the plant surface area and predation rate.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:plant morphology herbivore interactions reproduction rates acyrthosiphon pisum sativum harmonia axyridis
Date of Publication:01/01/2008