Effects of leaf nitrogen content on oviposition site selection, offspring performance, and intraspecific interactions in an omnivorous bug

Ronny Groenteman*, Moshe Guershon, Moshe Coll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

1. Oviposition site preference and its relation to offspring performance have received much attention in studies of herbivorous insects. Although this relationship is of great ecological significance, its presence in predacious and omnivorous insects has hardly been explored. When selecting an oviposition site, omnivores are expected to respond to both prey availability and, even more strongly, to plant traits that affect both females and their offspring. 2. In this study, females of Orius albidipennis (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) showed a strong preference for oviposition at the vein origin site of cotton leaves. It appears that this site is a limited resource for ovipositing females, because they defend it against conspecific intruders. This defensive behaviour was significantly more pronounced on nitrogen-rich than nitrogen-poor plants. 3. The females' defensive behaviour on nitrogen-rich leaves corresponds with offspring performance; the nymphs developed faster and enjoyed higher survival on nitrogen-rich than on nitrogen-poor leaves. At the between-plant level, oviposition preference was not significantly correlated with offspring performance, and egg hatching rate did not differ significantly between nitrogen treatments. 4. Oviposition site selection by this omnivorous bug appears, however, to be correlated positively with offspring performance at the within-leaf level. This is supported by the significantly higher hatching success of eggs deposited at the preferred vein origin site as compared with those deposited on other parts of the leaf.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Entomology
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

Keywords

  • Omnivore-plant interactions
  • Omnivory
  • Orius albidipennis
  • Oviposition preference-offspring performance
  • Resource guarding

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of leaf nitrogen content on oviposition site selection, offspring performance, and intraspecific interactions in an omnivorous bug'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this