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Keywords:

  • development time;
  • Drepanosiphidae;
  • generation;
  • Homoptera;
  • intrinsic rate of increase;
  • nursery;
  • reproduction;
  • rm;
  • temperature dependency;
  • outbreaks

Abstract

A detailed study of the basic biological parameters affecting the population development of the woolly beech aphid, Phyllaphis fagi L. (Homoptera: Drepanosiphidae), was performed under field and laboratory conditions in order to obtain information about factors responsible for outbreak situations in forest nurseries. In the nurseries, the aphid eggs have found to hatch before budburst. The newly hatched nymphs were highly active in searching for feeding places, which resulted in higher nymph mortality in the first generation than in the following generations. Ten aphid generations were recorded in the nursery during one growing season. In the laboratory, development time, nymph mortality, reproduction, and adult lifetimes were assessed for P. fagi at four constant temperatures, i.e., 12, 15, 20, and 25 °C through four successive generations. Both temperature and aphid generation were found to affect life table parameters. The first generation, however, was less susceptible to changing temperatures than the following generations. Phyllaphis fagi reproductive effort was more dependent on temperature than on aphid generation. No significant difference was found in reproductive effort between apterous and alate females. The potential for outbreak situations therefore exists throughout the summer. The formation of winged morphs was not restricted to a few generations but rather continued for several months, with activity peaking in all years in mid-June. This had implications for migration to new seedlings in the nurseries. The highest rm value was obtained at 20 °C. Nymphs born at higher temperatures were sometimes born deformed and unable to survive.