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Olfactory attractiveness of flowering plants to the parasitoid Microplitis mediator: potential implications for biological control

Belz, Elodie and Kölliker, Mathias and Balmer, Oliver. (2013) Olfactory attractiveness of flowering plants to the parasitoid Microplitis mediator: potential implications for biological control. BioControl : journal of the International Organization for Biological Control, 58 (2). pp. 163-173.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/64498/

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Abstract

In agricultural landscapes, the lack of floral nectar can be a major difficulty for nectar feeding parasitoids. This problem can be reduced by the addition of suitable wildflowers. To date, flowers have mainly been studied in terms of effects on parasitoid fitness, not taking into account the essential role of flower attractiveness for foraging parasitoids. This study experimentally tested the olfactory attractiveness of five wildflowers (bishop's weed, cornflower, buckwheat, candytuft, and oregano) to the parasitoid Microplitis mediator (Haliday) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). We conducted choice experiments in a Y-tube olfactometer to test the attractiveness of flowers against air, and relative attractiveness in paired choice tests. Our results showed that all the flowers were highly attractive and that in paired choice tests cornflower and candytuft were equally attractive and more attractive than buckwheat. These results indicate that M. mediator has evolved innate preferences that could be effectively exploited in biological control.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Verhaltensevolution (Kölliker)
UniBasel Contributors:Kölliker, Mathias
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1386-6141
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 07:52
Deposited On:10 Sep 2020 07:52

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