Population dynamics of banana aphid

Quantitative knowledge of the relative impact of factors that affect a species’ population dynamics is necessary for its conservation or control. The banana aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa, is a pantropical species that infests bananas and plantains wherever they are grown. The aphid is also the principal vector of banana bunchy top virus, the causal agent of the devastating banana bunchy top disease. Knowledge of the aphid’s population ecology, particularly the relative impact of principal factors affecting its population dynamics, is scant and fragmented. We conducted a multi-year, multi-factor study in an agroecology representative of a relatively large area of Central Africa where low-input production of bananas and plantains is practiced. Overall, population dynamics of the pantropical banana aphid - unlike numerous temperate aphid species - appear to be driven not by rainfall but by complex interactions among temperature, relative humidity, host plant genotypes and aphid-associated ants and predatory arthropods. Vegetation ground cover did not affect overall banana aphid abundance on any of four widely grown Musa genotypes, but reduced aphid immigration in vegetation-diversified plots during the first year, but that did not translate into differences in aphid abundance. Ants and predators cycled with aphids but all declined from the highest to the lowest peak in the first and third year, respectively. No parasitoids and entomopathogens were found in association with the aphid. Path analysis uncovered a set of complex interactions in which rainfall had little or no effect on aphid populations, while the effects of temperature and relative humidity on aphids were largely indirect - through their effects on ants and predatory arthropods. Ant-aphid association remained strong and relatively unchanged, regardless of the presence of predators, while an already weak predator-aphid association was relaxed by the presence of ants, but only in vegetation-diversified plots. The insights provided by the present study contrast with those on aphid species from temperate climates and will serve to guide the management of the banana aphid and banana bunchy top disease that threaten bananas and plantains across much of the old-world tropics.


Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Creator Ngatat, Sergine
Creator Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Creator email S.Ngatat@cgiar.org
Creator ID Type ORCID
Creator ID 0000-0002-5786-3865
Subject Vocab (AGROVOC/GACS/CAB) Pentalonia nigronervosa,Ants,Path analysis
Subject(s) Predatory arthropods,Contingency tables
Publisher International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person 1 Rachid Hanna
Contributor Person 1 Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person 1 email r.hanna@cgiar.org
Contributor Person 2 Lava Kumar
Contributor Person 2 Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person 2 email l.kumar@cgiar.org
Contributor Person 3 Komi Kouma Mokpokpo Fiaboe
Contributor Person 3 Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person 3 email K.Fiaboe@cgiar.org
Contributor Person 4 Apollin Fotso Kuate
Contributor Person 4 Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Person 4 email A.Fotso@cgiar.org
Contributor Person 5 Richard T. Ghogomu
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Contributor Person 6 Edwige S. Djomaha
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Contributor Project Lead Organisation Center International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contributor Project Lead Center
Contributor Initiative/CRP CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Banana(RTB)
Contributor Partner Not applicable
Contributor Donor CGIAR program Roots, Tubers and Banana; the United Nations University On-the Job Training and Capacity Building grant
Contributor Project Banana bunchy top disease control-RTB
Project ID
Contributor Affiliation International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Open-Access status Open Access
Production Date 2013-12-19
Embargo End Date
Content Type Dataset
File Format csv
Identifier Type DOI
Identifier https://doi.org/10.25502/6jfe-7n42/d
Identifier Citation
Source Banana bunchy top disease control-RTB
Language English
Relation Not applicable
Agroecological Zone Humid warm tropics
Coverage Region Central Africa
Coverage country Cameroon
Coverage Admin Unit Not applicable
Coverage Y (Latitude) 3.863233
Coverage X (Longitude) 11.4619
Coverage Start Date 2010-06-23
Coverage End Date 2013-12-18
Contact Ngatat, Sergine; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Contact Email s.ngatat@cgiar.org
Restriction CC-BY 4.0
Email Permission None
Rights CC-BY 4.0