Apr 30, 2020

Why species richness of plants and herbivorous insects do or do not correlate

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Naoto Shinohara, T. Yoshida


Unraveling the determinants of herbivorous insect diversity has been a major challenge in ecology. Despite the strong association between insect and plant species, previous studies conducted in natural systems have shown great variation in the strength of the correlation between their species richness. Such variation can be attributed to the proportion of generalist insect species (generality), though both higher and lower generality may weaken the correlation because 1) generalist insect species are less dependent on the number of plant species and 2) specialist insect species utilize only a part of the total plant species. To explore these opposing effects, we studied plant and herbivorous insect communities in semi-natural grasslands in Japan. Plant-insect interactions were evaluated in a unique way with a particular focus on the staying and herbivory behaviors of insects, which reflect their habitat use as well as host use. We found that generality of insect communities negatively affected the correlation between species richness of plants and insects. However, such negative effect was significant only when the insect species richness was related with the number of plant species interacted with some insect species, instead ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biological Markers
Gene Polymorphism
Second Line Treatment
Short Tandem Repeat
Inbred Strain
Recombination, Genetic
Protea repens
Gene Deletion

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