Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Competition between the phytophagous stink bugs Euschistus heros and Piezodorus guildinii in soybeans.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The abundance and contribution of the neotropical brown stink bug, Euschistus heros (F.), and the redbanded stink bug, Piezodorus guildinii (West.), to the composition of insect pests of soybean, Glycine max (L.), fields have changed both spatially and temporally in neotropical soybean production areas. Therefore, we assessed the competitiveness of each species in direct competition experiments following an additive series. We performed mixed (adult) insect infestations in soybean plants and evaluated the fitness of each species and the soybean yield. RESULTS: While the competitive ability of E. heros was significantly compromised by increments in conspecifics and heterospecifics (i.e. P. guildinii), the competitive ability of P. guildinii was compromised by the presence of heterospecifics (i.e. E. heros). The reproductive output of P. guildinii remained unaffected by increments in E. heros or of P. guildinii. Intriguingly, despite the fact that P. guildinii apparently lost the competition with E. heros, almost no pod production was observed in any plant colonised by the former. CONCLUSIONS: The higher abundance of E. heros in neotropical soybean fields seems to result from higher competitive ability than its heterospecific competitor P. guildinii, which may prevent the higher losses caused by P. guildinii.