The effect of feeding of the mirid bug Capsodes infuscatus on fruit production of the geophyte Asphodelus ramosus was studied in a desert area in Israel. Plant and bug densities and percent loss of fruit production were measured in a relatively dry lower colluvial slope, an intermediate upper colluvial slope, and a relatively mesic wadi. Overall damage levels were very high, with 100% loss of fruit production in many plants. Within each habitat, the number of nymphs per plant clone was positively correlated with the number of ramets per clone and percent damage was positively correlated with number of nymphs per clone. However, percent damage was not correlated with number of plants per clone in any habitat. Although damage did significantly increase with plant density in the slope habitats, mean damage to fruit production per clone was lowest (50%) in the wadi where Asphodelus density was highest. As new ramets are tightly interwoven with their mother plants, occupation of new microsites depends on establishment of new clones from seeds. Therefore, the strong and density-dependent reduction in fruit production inflicted by Capsodes on the Asphodelus population on the slope has the potential to regulate the plant density in this habitat.
- Capsodes infuscatus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics