Novel Host Plant (novel + host_plant)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Host shifting by Operophtera brumata into novel environments leads to population differentiation in life-history traits

Adam J. Vanbergen
Abstract., 1. Operophtera brumata L. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), a polyphagous herbivore usually associated with deciduous trees such as oak Quercus robur L., has expanded its host range to include the evergreen species heather Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull and, most recently, Sitka spruce Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carrière. 2. Phenology, morphology, and survival of O. brumata were measured at several life-history stages in populations from the three different host plant communities sampled from a range of geographical locations. The data were used to test for population differences, reflecting the marked differences in host-plant secondary chemistry, growth form, and site factors such as climate. The hypothesis that spruce-feeding populations originated from populations feeding on moorland, commonly sites of coniferous afforestation, was also tested. 3. Altitude, not host plant species, was the major influence on the timing of adult emergence. An effect of insect population independent of altitude was found, implying that additional unidentified factors contribute to this phenological variation. Larval survival and adult size varied between populations reared on different host plant species. Survival of larvae was affected negatively when reared on the novel host plant, Sitka spruce, versus the natal plant (oak or heather) but oak and heather-sourced insects did not differ in survivorship on Sitka spruce. 4. Host range extension into novel environments has resulted in population differentiation to the local climate, demonstrating that host shifts pose challenges to the herbivore population greater than those offered by the host plant alone. The hypothesis that Sitka spruce feeding populations have arisen predominantly from moorland feeding populations was not supported. [source]

Adaptations of an insect to a novel host plant: a phylogenetic approach

Summary 1The importance of behavioural vs physiological adaptations in the evolution of host associations by herbivorous insects is largely unknown. 2We compared sister species of beetles, one of which, Ophraella slobodkini, feeds on the lineage's ancestral host, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, while O. notulata has shifted to a novel host, Iva frutescens. Assuming O. slobodkini represents the features of the Ambrosia -feeding ancestor, we asked if behavioural and physiological barriers to utilizing Iva existed and if adaptation to these barriers occurred. We also tested for trade-offs between use of novel and ancestral hosts by O. notulata. 3We found evidence that the ancestor of O. notulata would have been deterred from feeding on Iva and suffered lower conversion efficiency. 4Ophraella notulata appears to have adapted behaviourally by increasing consumption of Iva, but we did not detect a significant increase in its physiological capacity to use Iva. Additionally, the switch to Iva by O. notulata did not reduce its physiological capacity to use the ancestral host, Ambrosia. 5Our results suggest that novel host associations may arise from behavioural adaptations, with physiological adaptations a secondary result of behavioural changes. We discuss implications for hypotheses of host shifts and the evolution of specialization. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 5 2008
Eric M. Janson
Adaptive diversification is a process intrinsically tied to species interactions. Yet, the influence of most types of interspecific interactions on adaptive evolutionary diversification remains poorly understood. In particular, the role of mutualistic interactions in shaping adaptive radiations has been largely unexplored, despite the ubiquity of mutualisms and increasing evidence of their ecological and evolutionary importance. Our aim here is to encourage empirical inquiry into the relationship between mutualism and evolutionary diversification, using herbivorous insects and their microbial mutualists as exemplars. Phytophagous insects have long been used to test theories of evolutionary diversification; moreover, the diversification of a number of phytophagous insect lineages has been linked to mutualisms with microbes. In this perspective, we examine microbial mutualist mediation of ecological opportunity and ecologically based divergent natural selection for their insect hosts. We also explore the conditions and mechanisms by which microbial mutualists may either facilitate or impede adaptive evolutionary diversification. These include effects on the availability of novel host plants or adaptive zones, modifying host-associated fitness trade-offs during host shifts, creating or reducing enemy-free space, and, overall, shaping the evolution of ecological (host plant) specialization. Although the conceptual framework presented here is built on phytophagous insect,microbe mutualisms, many of the processes and predictions are broadly applicable to other mutualisms in which host ecology is altered by mutualistic interactions. [source]

Dynamics of host plant use and species diversity in Polygonia butterflies (Nymphalidae)

Abstract The ability of insects to utilize different host plants has been suggested to be a dynamic and transient phase. During or after this phase, species can shift to novel host plants or respecialize on ancestral ones. Expanding the range of host plants might also be a factor leading to higher levels of net speciation rates. In this paper, we have studied the possible importance of host plant range for diversification in the genus Polygonia (Nymphalidae, Nymphalini). We have compared species richness between sistergroups in order to find out if there are any differences in number of species between clades including species that utilize only the ancestral host plants (,urticalean rosids') and their sisterclades with a broader (or in some cases potentially broader) host plant repertoire. Four comparisons could be made, and although these are not all phylogenetically or statistically independent, all showed clades including butterfly species using other or additional host plants than the urticalean rosids to be more species-rich than their sisterclade restricted to the ancestral host plants. These results are consistent with the theory that expansions in host plant range are involved in the process of diversification in butterflies and other phytophagous insects, in line with the general theory that plasticity may drive speciation. [source]