Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Population variation of Bemisia tabaci MED and MEAM1 species in an agricultural landscape: the case of Çukurova plain.

Abstract

Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is an economically important pest of agricultural crops. It is described as a species complex, among which MEAM1 (Middle East-Asia Minor 1) and MED (Mediterranean) are two of the most damaging and invasive species in the world. This study was conducted to determine the seasonal population variations of MEAM1 and MED species of B. tabaci from 2015 to 2018 in cotton fields of the Çukurova plain, Turkey. Whiteflies were sampled during the early season and late season from cotton fields located in six districts. A diagnostic microsatellite locus and PCR-RFLP methods were used to determine MED and MEAM1 species. Results showed that although its rate decreased over the years, MED was predominant over MEAM1 in cotton fields, with 60.9% of the total B. tabaci specimens determined as MED while 39.1% were MEAM1. The proportion of each species varied according to districts with the highest value of MED (100%) observed in inland districts. The species composition changed according to the season, and MEAM1 was found to be statistically higher in the late than the early season in the districts close to the Mediterranean Sea. The data showed that despite the closeness of the sampling areas, there was a habitat partitioning between MED and MEAM1 in the Çukurova plain. The crop pattern, migration, and climate were found to be important factors in the habitat partition. The results obtained in this study will help in the development of sustainable management strategies for these invasive species.