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1. Interactions between two trophic levels can be very intimate, often making species dependent on each other, something that increases with specialisation. Some specialised multivoltine herbivores may depend on multiple plant species for their survival over the course of a growing season, especially if their food plants are short‐lived and grow at different times. Later generations may exploit different plant species from those exploited by previous generations.

2. Multivoltine parasitoids as well as their natural enemies must also find their hosts on different food plants in different habitats across the season. Secondary hyperparasitoid communities have been studied on cocoons of the primary parasitoid, Cotesia glomerata (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), on black mustard (Brassica nigra) – a major food plant of its host, the large cabbage white (Pieris brassicae) – which grows in mid‐summer.

3. Here, hyperparasitoid communities on C. glomerata pupal clusters were studied on an early‐season host, garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata, over ‘time’ (one season, April–July) in six closely located ‘populations’ (c. 2 km apart), and within two different ‘areas’ at greater separation (c. 100 km apart). At the plant level, spatial effects of pupal ‘location’ (canopy or bottom) on the plant were tested.

4. Although large‐scale separation (area) did not influence hyperparasitism, sampling time and small‐scale separation (population) affected hyperparasitism levels and composition of hyperparasitoid communities. Location on the plant strongly increased proportions of winged species in the canopy and proportions of wingless species in bottom‐located pupae.

5. These results show that hyperparasitism varies considerably at the local level, but that differences in hyperparasitoid communities do not increase with spatial distance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcological Entomology
Volumein press
DOI
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

    Research areas

  • NIOO

ID: 9160535