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Dispersion in time and space affect mating success and Allee effects in invading gypsy moth populations

Authors

  • C. Robinet,

    Corresponding author
    1. INRA, UR633 Zoologie Forestière, F-45166 Olivet, France;
    2. Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture, Northern Research Station, 180 Canfield Street, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, USA;
      *Correspondence author. E-mail: robinet@orleans.inra.fr
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    • Present address, INRA Zoologie Forestière, Avenue de la Pomme de Pin, Ardon, 45166 Olivet, France.

  • D. R. Lance,

    1. Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, US Department of Agriculture, Bldg 1398, Otis ANGB, MA 02542, USA;
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  • K. W. Thorpe,

    1. (retired) Insect Biocontrol Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Center Road, Bldg 306 BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA; and
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  • K. S. Onufrieva,

    1. Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
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  • P. C. Tobin,

    1. Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture, Northern Research Station, 180 Canfield Street, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, USA;
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  • A. M. Liebhold

    1. Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture, Northern Research Station, 180 Canfield Street, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, USA;
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*Correspondence author. E-mail: robinet@orleans.inra.fr

Summary

  • 1Understanding why invading populations sometimes fail to establish is of considerable relevance to the development of strategies for managing biological invasions.
  • 2Newly arriving populations tend to be sparse and are often influenced by Allee effects. Mating failure is a typical cause of Allee effects in low-density insect populations, and dispersion of individuals in space and time can exacerbate mate-location failure in invading populations.
  • 3Here we evaluate the relative importance of dispersal and sexual asynchrony as contributors to Allee effects in invading populations by adopting as a case study the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.), an important insect defoliator for which considerable demographic information is available.
  • 4We used release–recapture experiments to parameterize a model that describes probabilities that males locate females along various spatial and temporal offsets between male and female adult emergence.
  • 5Based on these experimental results, we developed a generalized model of mating success that demonstrates the existence of an Allee threshold, below which introduced gypsy moth populations are likely to go extinct without any management intervention.

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