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How insects sense olfactory patches: the spatial scaling of olfactory information
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 122, no 7, 1009-1016 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When searching for resources in heterogeneous environments, animals must rely on their abilities to detect the resources via their sensory systems. However, variation in the strength of the sensory cue may be mediated by the physical size of the resource patch. Patch detection of insects are often predicted by the scaling of sensory cues to patch size, where visual cues has been proposed to scale proportional to the diameter of the patch. The scaling properties of olfactory cues are, however, virtually unknown. Here, we investigated scaling rules for olfactory information in a gradient of numbers of odour sources, relevant to odour-mediated attraction under field conditions. We recorded moth antennal responses to sex pheromones downwind from pheromone patches and estimated the slope in the scaling relationship between the effective length of the odour plumes and the number of odour sources. These measurements showed that the effective plume length increased proportional to the square root of the number of odour sources. The scaling relationship, as estimated in the field experiment, was then evaluated against field data of the slope in the relationship between trap catch and release rate of chemical attractants for a wide range of insects. This meta-analysis revealed an average slope largely consistent with the estimated scaling relationship between the effective plume length and the number of odour sources. This study is the first to estimate the scaling properties of olfactory cues empirically and has implications for understanding and predicting the spatial distributions of insects searching by means of olfactory cues in heterogeneous environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 122, no 7, 1009-1016 p.
National Category
Ecology Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92120DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2012.00037.xISI: 000320618900006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-92120DiVA: diva2:637796
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 621-2006-2996
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2013-07-22 Created: 2013-07-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The importance of search behavior and movements for spatial distributions of herbivorous insects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of search behavior and movements for spatial distributions of herbivorous insects
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Insect populations commonly show large spatial variation in density, and much variation have been shown to be explained by the search behavior applied by the insect when locating habitat patches. This thesis explores the importance of odor-mediated attraction for immigration rates of herbivorous insects in relation to the size of the patches and the density of host plants within the patches. By using electroantennogram and measuring moth antennal responses to sex pheromones and thereby estimating the relative odor-mediated attraction from odor patches in field experiments (Paper I, III), I show that the length of the odor plumes emanating from the patches increase proportional with the square-root of the number of odor sources. In laboratory and field experiments (with the weevils Cionus scrophulariae and C. tuberculosus and the host plant figwort Scrophularia nodosa; Paper II) and meta-analyses on multiple insect herbivores (Paper III), I examined whether the relative increase in plume length could also predict the immigration rates of olfactory searching insects in relation to patches with increasing area and increasing density of host plants. The experiments (Paper II) and meta-analyses (Paper III) showed that the observed immigration rates of olfactory searching insects was well predicted by the relative increase in plume length, as estimated from the electroantennogram measurements (Paper I, III). The importance of immigration rates, relative to the effect of emigration and local growth was also investigated for the Cionus weevils in natural S. nodosa patches (Paper IV). This study showed that the density-patch size relationships of the weevils during early season were predicted by the net scaling of emigration and immigration rates, and differences in density-patch size relationships between the two species could be explained by inter-specific differences in their emigration rates from small patches. In conclusion, this thesis shows that search behavior can be used to predict immigration rates and spatial distributions of insects, with implications for pest control, conservation ecology and general ecological theory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Botany, Stockholm University, 2011. 51 p.
Keyword
Olfactory search, Habitat heterogeneity, Species-traits, Immigration, Scaling relationships, Patch size, Plant-insect interactions, EAG, Odors, Pheromones
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62464 (URN)978-91-7447-368-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-10-27, föreläsningssalen, Botanicum, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 2: Epub ahead of print. Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Submitted.

Available from: 2011-10-05 Created: 2011-09-20 Last updated: 2013-08-14Bibliographically approved

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