BACKGROUND: The two common whitefly species, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) MEAM1 and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), often co-occur on their host plants. The effect of host plant occupation by one species on later-arriving conspecific individuals or on the other competing species was examined. RESULTS: Resource preoccupied by T. vaporariorum had mostly negative effects on the life history parameters of later-arriving conspecifics. Red-eyed nymph and immature survival of T. vaporariorum decreased when resource was preoccupied by conspecifics, irrespective of the previous occupation scenario. However, resource preoccupied by T. vaporariorum had only minor detrimental effectsonthe performanceof later-arriving B. tabaci MEAM1.In theopposite colonisation sequence, previous occupation by B. tabaci MEAM1 had no significant effects on the life history parameters of later-arriving conspecifics, but severe detrimental effects were observed on the performance of later-arriving T. vaporariorum. Total immature survival of T. vaporariorum decreased in both weak and strong previous occupation situations by B. tabaci MEAM1. CONCLUSION: The interspecific interactions between B. tabaci MEAM1 and T. vaporariorum were asymmetric, with B. tabaci MEAM1 being the superior competitor. This superiority could partially explain the rapid spread of B. tabaci MEAM1 in China.
Pest Management Science, 2014, Vol 70, Issue 12, p. 1797-1807