Caterpillar seed predators mediate shifts in selection on flowering phenology in their host plant
Number of Authors: 2
2017 (English)In: Ecology, ISSN 0012-9658, E-ISSN 1939-9170, Vol. 98, no 1, 228-238 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Variation in selection among populations and years has important implications for evolutionary trajectories of populations. Yet, the agents of selection causing this variation have rarely been identified. Selection on the time of reproduction within a season in plants might differ both among populations and among years, and selection can be mediated by both mutualists and antagonists. We investigated if differences in the direction of phenotypic selection on flowering phenology among 20 populations of Gentiana pneumonanthe during 2 yr were related to the presence of the butterfly seed predator Phengaris alcon, and if butterfly incidence was associated with the abundance of the butterfly's second host, Myrmica ants. In plant populations without the butterfly, phenotypic selection favored earlier flowering. In populations where the butterfly was present, caterpillars preferentially attacked early-flowering individuals, shifting the direction of selection to favoring later flowering. Butterfly incidence in plant populations increased with ant abundance. Our results demonstrate that antagonistic interactions can shift the direction of selection on flowering phenology, and suggest that such shifts might be associated with differences in the community context.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 98, no 1, 228-238 p.
community context, Gentiana pneumonanthe, myrmecophily, Myrmica, Phengaris alcon, phenotypic selection, plant phenology, plant-animal interactions, predispersal seed predation, spatial variation, timing of reproduction
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140406DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1633ISI: 000391862900019PubMedID: 28052392OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-140406DiVA: diva2:1081249