Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (3): 469-476, 2013 | 10.14411/eje.2013.062

Key factors affecting the predation risk on insects on leaves in temperate floodplain forest

Michaela DROZDOVÁ1, Jan ©IPO©1,2, Pavel DROZD3
1 Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Palacky University, 77146 Olomouc, Czech Republic; e-mail: michaela.drozdova@centrum.cz
2 Global Change Research Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 60300 Brno, Czech Republic
3 Faculty of Science, University of Ostrava, 71000 Ostrava, Czech Republic; e-mail: pavel.drozd@osu.cz

The predation on insects on leaves was measured by direct observation using live larvae of Calliphora vicina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) as bait placed on 15 common species of woody plants in a floodplain forest in the temperate region. The predation rate was measured in terms of the proportion of the larvae that were missing or had been attacked after 30 min of exposure on leaves. Despite the fact that the important predators differed during the course of a season, the most frequently recorded predators were birds and ants and less frequently recorded wasps and spiders. Analysis of the pattern in the distribution of the attacks confirmed that it is best described by a negative binomial distribution, which corresponds to a clumped dispersal of predation. Based on the results of the best-fitted generalized additive model, we could not reject an equal probability of attacks on the different species of woody plants. Further, predation at the forest edge was notably higher than in the forest interior. The model also predicted marked variations in the incidence of attacks during the course of a day and a season, with the attacks occurring mainly in three periods during the year and two during the day. In general, the sampling method used could become the standard measure of the risk of insects living on trees being attacked by predators in future studies.

Keywords: Diptera, Calliphoridae, Calliphora vicina, insect predators, living prey, temporal and spatial differences, clumped dispersal of attacks

Received: February 27, 2012; Accepted: December 20, 2012; Published: July 11, 2013

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