Context dependency of plant – animal interactions
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The strength and direction of interactions between organisms vary spatially across the landscape. Traditionally, the focus has been on how trait variation affects the interactions between species. However, differences in abiotic and biotic environmental factors may also alter the distribution, phenology and behavior of the interacting species. To be able to understand why an interaction varies across the landscape, the effects of trait variation has to be separated from the effects of the environmental context. In this thesis, I try to separate the effects of context and trait differences on plant resistance against herbivory, through experimental and observational studies conducted with two cytotypes of the perennial herb Cardamine pratensis and its main herbivore, Anthocharis cardamines.
The results show that differences in plant resistance against oviposition under controlled conditions were mainly mediated by flower size; larger flowers were more attractive to the female butterfly. However, among-populations differences in oviposition under natural conditions were not related to the resistance observed under controlled conditions, or to ploidy type, flowering phenology or plant size. Within populations under natural conditions the oviposition patterns by A. cardamines was affected by the plant traits plant size and flowering phenology.
The result of this thesis shows that among-population differences in intensity of plant-herbivore interactions were caused by differences in environmental context rather than by herbivore preferences for any phenotypic plant traits, while host plant selection within population was based on plant traits. This suggests that biotic and biotic context can have important effects on the intensity of plant-herbivore interactions. Although genetic traits influenced the outcome of the interaction within populations, it was the environmental context of the populations that determined largely if the interaction took place or not.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University , 2014. , 43 p.
Anthocharis cardamines, attack intensity, Cardamine pratensis, cytotype, herbivory, larval fitness, oviposition, phenology, plant-animal interactions, plant resistance, plant tolerance, polyploidy, spatial variation, trait variation
Research subject Plant Ecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-101067ISBN: 978-91-7447-857-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-101067DiVA: diva2:698650
2014-04-08, föreläsningssalen, Institutionen för ekologi, miljö och botanik, Lilla Frescativägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Stinchcombe, John, Professor
Ehrlén, Johan, ProfessorWiklund, Christer, Professor Emeritus
FunderSwedish Research Council
At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript in review in Plos One; Paper 3: Manuscript in review in Ecological Entomology; Paper 4: Manuscript2014-03-172014-02-242014-03-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers