Snowmelt Affects Aphid (Aphis asclepiadis) Populations Through Soil Moisture and Host Plant Phenology
Plant-insect interactions are ecologically important relationships that are greatly affected by climate change. Previous research concerning an aphid species (Aphis asclepiadis) and its host plant (Ligusticum porteri) has shown that aphid abundances correlate significantly with snowmelt date in the subalpine zone of the Rocky Mountains. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon have not been previously identified. Our construction of a structural equational model identified soil moisture and plant phenology as two major pathways by which snowmelt indirectly affects aphids. By comparing aphid and ...
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