How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Click to locate material archived on our website by topic

Warming May Induce Predatory Beetles to Eat More Pest Beetles

Paper Reviewed
Frank, T. and Brambock, M. 2016. Predatory beetles feed more pest beetles at rising temperature. BMC Ecology 16: 10.1186/s12898-016-0076-x.

In a paper describing their first-of-its-kind study, Frank and Brambock (2016) report the results of the feeding of five carabid beetle predators (Amara ovata, Anchomenus dorsalis, Harpalus affinis, Harpalus distinguendus and Poecilus cupreus) on an arable insect pest of European oilseed rape fields (the pollen beetle Meligethes aeneus and its larvae) at typical real-world temperatures (T1), as well as temperatures maintained at 3 and 5°C higher values (T2 and T3, respectively), which study was carried out in their laboratory in three separate controlled-climate chambers. And what did they learn from this experiment?

The two Austrian researchers report that A. ovata, H. distinguendus and P. cupreus "killed significantly more larvae at T2 and T3 compared to T1," while A. dorsalis "killed significantly more larvae at T2 than T1," but that H. affinis showed no significant kill differences among the three sets of temperatures.

As for the implications of these findings, Frank and Brambock note that their laboratory results suggest a clear potential for greater feeding on the larvae of oilseed pollen beetles by the five species of carabid beetles in the experimentally-increased temperature treatments, which in turn suggests that out in the real world of nature, there would likely be "enhanced pest suppression under warmer field conditions."

Posted 30 September 2016