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Antagonistic interactions between an invasive alien and a native coccinellid species may promote coexistence [Journal of Animal Ecology]

Keywords : aphid, behaviour, biocontrol, intraguild predation, ladybird, ladybug, natural enemies, non-consumptive interactions

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Despite the capacity of invasive alien species to alter ecosystems, the mechanisms underlying their impact remain only partly understood. Invasive alien predators, for example, can significantly disrupt recipient communities by consuming prey species or acting as an intraguild predator (IGP).
Behavioural interactions are key components of interspecific competition between predators, yet these are often overlooked invasion processes. Here, we show how behavioural, non-lethal IGP interactions might facilitate the establishment success of an invading alien species.
We experimentally assessed changes in feeding behaviour (prey preference and consumption rate) of native UK coccinellid species (Adalia bipunctata and Coccinella septempunctata), whose populations are, respectively, declining and stable, when exposed to the invasive intraguild predator, Harmonia axyridis.

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