Frequency dependence of host plant choice within and between patches: a large cage experiment
2005 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, E-ISSN 1573-8477, Vol. 19, no 3, 289-302 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Oviposition preference is considered to be one of the most important factors behind patterns of host use among herbivorous insects. However, preference is defined as host plant choice under equal host abundance and availability, and it is likely that frequency-dependent effects will alter the actual pattern of host use beyond what preference trials reveals. The effects of such alterations are poorly known but could be important for the understanding of specialization and host shifts. We investigated how changes in frequency of a preferred and a less preferred host affected movement patterns and egg deposition within and among patches in a polyphagous butterfly, Polygonia c-album. Two experiments were carried out in large (8 × 30 m) outdoor cages, artificially divided into distinct patches with different frequencies of the two hosts: one that allowed for limited movement between patches and one that did not. There was a clear effect of frequency on patch selection; females spent more time in and laid more eggs in patches with a high frequency of the preferred host, which will potentially have a large effect on host use by modifying encounter rates in favor of the preferred host. However, there was no significant frequency-dependent plant choice within patches in any experiment. Instead, results indicate that females are distributing their eggs among plants species according to specific likelihoods of oviposition, independent of encounter rates, which is compatible with a strategy of risk-spreading.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2005. Vol. 19, no 3, 289-302 p.
bet-hedging - habitat selection - host range - host use - oviposition preference - specialization
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23565DOI: 10.1007/s10682-005-6078-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-23565DiVA: diva2:192857
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-3542005-02-032005-02-032014-10-28Bibliographically approved