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Short-Term Cold Stress Affects Parasitism on the Asian Chestnut Gall Wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus

Published: 28 November 2020
 by  MDPI AG
 in Insects
Insects , Volume 11; doi:10.3390/insects11120841

Abstract: Temperature variation affects interactions involving plants, herbivores, and parasitoids, causing a mismatch between their phenological cycles. In the context of climate change, climatic factors can undergo profound and sudden changes, such as sudden hot or cold snaps. Herein, we show that the number of episodes of short but sustained low temperatures has increased, mainly during May, over the last two decades. We subjected galls induced by the Asian chestnut gall wasp (ACGW) Dryocosmus kuriphilus to cold stress to assess whether and, if so, how it affected the pest and its parasitoids. Over the course of two years, we measured seasonal parasitism, parasitism rates, the relative abundance of each parasitoid species, and ACGW mortality. We found that the cold treatment affected both the pest and the parasitoids, resulting in a reduction in the emergence of ACGWs and differing ratios of species within the parasitoid community. The most striking example was the change in the relative frequency of three species of Eupelmus spp. and Mesopolobus tibialis, which doubled in cold-stressed galls in all chestnut fields. The effects of temperature on the development of the host and the direct effects of cold temperatures on the surface of galls (in terms of the humidity or hardness of the galls) warrant further research in this direction.
Keywords: climate / fitness / Cynipidae / Thermal Variation / Chestnut / Dryocosmus Kuriphilus / host–parasitoid relationship / Eupelmus spp.
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