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The performance of the leaf mining microlepidopteran Bucculatrix maritima (Stt.) on the salt marsh halophyte, Aster tripolium (L.), exposed to different salinity conditions
Hemminga, M. A.; van Soelen, J. (1992). The performance of the leaf mining microlepidopteran Bucculatrix maritima (Stt.) on the salt marsh halophyte, Aster tripolium (L.), exposed to different salinity conditions. Oecologia 89(3): 422-427. dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00317421
In: Oecologia. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0029-8549, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Aster tripolium L. [WoRMS]; Bucculatrix maritima; Insecta [WoRMS]; Brackish water
Author keywords
    Phytophagous insects; Salt marsh; Bucculatrix maritima; Aster tripolium; Estuary

Authors  Top 
  • Hemminga, M. A., more
  • van Soelen, J., more

Abstract
    The performance of phytophagous insects is influenced by the nutritional quality of the food plant, which may vary with environmental conditions. Hardly any information exists on food-plant mediated effects of variable soil salinity on the performance of phytopha- gous insects. Conspicuous differences in salinity levels, however, are found in soils of intertidal wetlands such as salt marshes and mangroves. The growth of larvae of Bucculatrix mar?tima, a leaf miner of the salt marsh halophyte Aster tripolium, was studied on the host plant along the salinity gradient of the Westerschelde estuary (S.W. Netherlands). In addition, its performance on A. tripolium grown on low or high salinity culture medium was investigated experimentally. Although salinity con- ditions significantly influenced the chemistry of the host plants, insect performance seemed almost unaffected, although near the mouth of the estuary high environ- mental salinities may have caused some inhibition of larval growth. The results contrast with our previous studies on the stem-borer Agapanthia villosoviridescens, which showed that growth and development was con- spicuously influenced by the changing characteristics of Aster tripolium along the estuarine salinity gradient. The location-dependent qualities of halophytes in an estuary thus appear to have species-specific effects on insect per- formance. We hypothesize that this phenomenon con- tributes to the existence of non-identical distribution patterns of phytophagous insects associated with the same halophyte in an estuary.

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