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Insects 2017, 8(4), 128; doi:10.3390/insects8040128

Variable Isotopic Compositions of Host Plant Populations Preclude Assessment of Aphid Overwintering Sites

1
Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1630 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706, USA
2
Illinois Natural History Survey, 1816 S. Oak St., Champaign, IL 61820, USA
3
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection, 2811 Agriculture Dr., Madison, WI 53718, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alberto Pozzebon
Received: 2 October 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Integrated Pest Management)
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Abstract

Soybean aphid (Aphis glycines Matsumura) is a pest of soybean in the northern Midwest whose migratory patterns have been difficult to quantify. Improved knowledge of soybean aphid overwintering sites could facilitate the development of control efforts with exponential impacts on aphid densities on a regional scale. In this preliminary study, we explored the utility of variation in stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen to distinguish soybean aphid overwintering origins. We compared variation in bulk 13C and 15N content in buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.) and soybean aphids in Wisconsin, among known overwintering locations in the northern Midwest. Specifically, we looked for associations between buckthorn and environmental variables that could aid in identifying overwintering habitats. We detected significant evidence of correlation between the bulk 13C and 15N signals of soybean aphids and buckthorn, despite high variability in stable isotope composition within and among buckthorn plants. Further, the 15N signal in buckthorn varied predictably with soil composition. However, lack of sufficient differentiation of geographic areas along axes of isotopic and environmental variation appears to preclude the use of carbon and nitrogen isotopic signals as effective predictors of likely aphid overwintering sites. These preliminary data suggest the need for future work that can further account for variability in 13C and 15N within/among buckthorn plants, and that explores the utility of other stable isotopes in assessing likely aphid overwintering sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: 13C; 15N; buckthorn; dispersal; overwintering; soybean aphid; stable isotopes 13C; 15N; buckthorn; dispersal; overwintering; soybean aphid; stable isotopes
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Crossley, M.S.; Steffan, S.A.; Voegtlin, D.J.; Hamilton, K.L.; Hogg, D.B. Variable Isotopic Compositions of Host Plant Populations Preclude Assessment of Aphid Overwintering Sites. Insects 2017, 8, 128.

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