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Weak effect of spring temperatures on phenological synchrony between herbivore emergence and host plant suitability
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7262-6091
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4719-487X
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many species interactions are maintained by precise timing of life-cycle events across seasonal variation. Ecological implications of changes in phenologies, associated with climate change, with respect to species interactions are to a large extent unexplored. Changes in phenological distance between herbivores and their host plant species under new environmental conditions may potentially lead to shifts in host use patterns, with some plant species becoming more or less available at the time of a herbivore’s emergence. In addition, latitudinal variation in the timing of phenological events can lead to different patterns in host use shifts among populations of a given herbivore. Here we explored latitudinal variation in the effects of temperature on the degree of phenological synchrony between emergence of a butterfly, A. cardamines, and five of its herbaceous host plant species in a set of laboratory experiments to investigate the possibility that there will be shifts in the butterfly’ host utilization due to changes in thermal environment. The results suggest a similar temperature-mediated phenological plasticity between the butterflies and their host plants in three latitudinally divergent populations. In general, butterflies appeared to be well-synchronized with the majority of their host plant species across temperatures. In the most northern region, however, phenological distance between the butterfly and two out of four plant species was affected by temperature and decreased in warmer treatments. We relate this to a lower diversity of plant species and shorter period of host availability in the northern region. This creates a stronger selection pressure on the northern butterflies for a closer matching of their emergence to the plant flowering period. As the butterflies discriminated against non-flowering hosts with respect to oviposition, we conclude that a shift in host use in A. cardamines appears to be a possible scenario under spring warming, especially in the northern region.

Keyword [en]
Anthocharis cardamines, climate change, herbivore – host plant, orange tip butterfly, oviposition preference, phenological synchrony
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116660OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-116660DiVA: diva2:807121
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2016-01-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Effects of climate on phenological synchrony between butterflies and their host plants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of climate on phenological synchrony between butterflies and their host plants
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Shifts in species’ phenologies and phenological asynchronies between the interacting organisms have received a lot of attention in the context of climate change. Changes in temporal overlap between species, caused by phenological asynchrony, make species depending on one another become so separated in time that they can no longer interact. This may have important consequences both for single species, like fluctuations in abundances, and for the functioning of whole communities by creating mismatches between trophic levels and rearrangements of community structure. This thesis focuses on the impact of temperatures on spring timing and phenological synchrony in a herbivorous insect – host plant system, consisting of the orange tipbutterfly Anthocharis cardamines and five of its Brassicaceae host plant species. Paper I demonstrates that diapause duration and winter thermal conditions can determine the timing of spring emergence in the herbivore, and these traits may differ between species with different feeding strategies. In paper II we show that thermal reaction norms of post-winterdevelopment of A. cardamines display cogradient latitudinal variation.Paper III shows that temperature-mediated phenological plasticity of A. cardamines butterflies and a majority of the most used host plant species is similar within populations originating from different latitudes. Thus, the species’ timing appeared well conserved in response to thermal variation. In paper IV we explored the importance of the butterfly’s adult emergence and thermal conditions on the succeeding part of the butterfly’s life-cycle – larval development. The outcome from the interaction was examined for both the insect and the plant side. The degree in phenological overlap between the female butterflies and host plants as well as temperatures during larval development were found to influence larval development but had no effect on plant reproductive fitness. The four papers of the presented thesis demonstrate that developmental preadaptations, evolvedin a herbivore to maintain phenological synchrony with host plants across yearly variation of spring conditions, can prevent disruption of the interaction under a wide range of temperatures. This indicates that temporary constrained interactions are not always vulnerable to decoupling, particularly if they involve generalist strategy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2015. 16 p.
Keyword
Phenology, phenological synchrony, Anthocharis cardamines, Pieris napi, latitudinal variation
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116664 (URN)978-91-7649-162-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-04, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
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Ekoklim
Note

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

Available from: 2015-05-12 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2015-06-23Bibliographically approved

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