Do patterns of insect mortality in temperate and tropical zones have broader implications for insect ecology and pest management?
Pinto, José R. L.
Fernandes, Odair A.
Higley, Leon G.
Peterson, Robert K. D.
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Background Understanding how biotic and abiotic factors affect insect mortality is crucial for both fundamental knowledge of population ecology and for successful pest management. However, because these factors are difficult to quantify and interpret, patterns and dynamics of insect mortality remain unclear, especially comparative mortality across climate zones. Life table analysis provides robust information for quantifying population mortality and population parameters. Methods In this study, we estimated cause-of-death probabilities and irreplaceable mortality (the portion of mortality that cannot be replaced by another cause or combination of causes) using a Multiple Decrement Life Table (MDLT) analysis of 268 insect life tables from 107 peer-reviewed journal articles. In particular, we analyzed insect mortality between temperate and tropical climate zones. Results Surprisingly, our results suggest that non-natural enemy factors (abiotic) were the major source of insect mortality in both temperate and tropical zones. In addition, we observed that irreplaceable mortality from predators in tropical zones was 3.7-fold greater than in temperate zones. In contrast, irreplaceable mortality from parasitoids and pathogens was low and not different between temperate and tropical zones. Surprisingly, we did not observe differences in natural enemy and non-natural enemy factors based on whether the insect species was native or non-native. We suggest that characterizing predation should be a high priority in tropical conditions. Furthermore, because mortality from parasitoids was low in both tropical and temperate zones, this mortality needs to be better understood, especially as it relates to biological control and integrated pest management.
Pinto JRL, Fernandes OA, Higley LG, Peterson RKD. 2022. Do patterns of insect mortality in temperate and tropical zones have broader implications for insect ecology and pest management?. PeerJ 10:e13340 DOI 10.7717/peerj.13340