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Plasticity in oviposition and foraging behavior in the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii across natural and agricultural landscapes
  • Johanna Elsensohn,
  • Hannah Burrack
Johanna Elsensohn
USDA Agricultural Research Service

Corresponding Author:j.elsensohn@gmail.com

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Hannah Burrack
North Carolina State University
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1. Context and need for work The effects and extent of the impacts of agricultural insect pests in and around cropping systems is a rich field of study. However, little research exists on the presence and consequence of pest insects in undisturbed landscapes distant from crop hosts. Research in such areas may yield novel or key insights on pest behavior or ecology that is not evident from agroecosystem-based studies. 2. Approach and methods Using the invasive fruit pest Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) as a case study, we investigated the presence and resource use patterns of this agricultural pest in wild blackberries growing within the southern Appalachian Mountain range of North Carolina over two years. 3. Main results We found D. suzukii throughout the sampled range with higher levels of infestation (D. suzukii eggs/g fruit) in all ripeness stages in natural areas as compared to cultivated blackberry samples, but especially in under-ripe fruit. 4. Main results We also explored a direct comparison of oviposition preference between wild and cultivated fruit and found higher oviposition in wild berries when equal weights of fruit were offered, but oviposition was higher in cultivated berries when fruit number was equal. 5. Synthesis and applications D. suzukii were wide-spread in previously unsampled remote, forest habitats. Forest populations laid more eggs in unripe wild-grown blackberries throughout the year than populations infesting cultivated berries. This suggests D. suzukii may change its oviposition and foraging behavior in relation to fruit type. Additionally, as D. suzukii exploits a common forest fruit prior to ripeness, further research is needed to explore how this affects wild food web dynamics and spillover to regional agroecosystems.
02 Sep 2021Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
28 Sep 2021Submission Checks Completed
28 Sep 2021Assigned to Editor
06 Oct 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
27 Oct 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Oct 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
14 Dec 20221st Revision Received
15 Dec 2022Submission Checks Completed
15 Dec 2022Assigned to Editor
15 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
16 Dec 2022Editorial Decision: Accept