Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts


EVOLUTION, Issue 12 2005
Merrill A. Peterson
Abstract Most studies of reinforcement have focused on the evolution of either female choice or male mating cues, following the long-held view in sexual selection theory that mating mastakes are typically more costly for females than for males. However, factors such as conspecific sperm precedence can buffer females against the cost of mating mistakes, suggesting that in some hybrid zones mating mistakes may be more costly for males than for females. Thus, the historical bias in reinforcement research may underestimate its frequency. In this study, we present evidence that reinforcement has driven the evolution of male choice in a hybrid zone between teh highly promiscuous lealf beetles chyrsochus cobaltinus and C. auratus, the hybrids of which have extremely low fitness. In addition, there is evidence for male choice in these beetles and that male mating mistakes may be costly, due to reduced opportunities to mate with conspecific females. The present study combines laboratory and field methods to quantify the strenght of sexual isolation, test the hypothesis of reproductive character displacement, and assess the link between relative abundance and the strenght of selection against hybridization. We document that, while sexual isolation is weak, it is sufficient to produce positive assortative mating. In addtion, reproductive character displacement was only detected in the relatively rare species. The strong postzygotic barriers in this system are sufficient to generate the bimodality that characterizes this hybrid zone, but the weak sexual isolation is not, calling into question whether strong prezygotic isolation is necessary for the maintenance of bimodality. Growing evidence that the cost of mating mistakes is sufficient to shape the evolution of male mate choice suggests that the reinforecement of male mate choice may prove to be a widespread occurrence. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 5 2005
Douglas J. Emlen
Abstract Both ornaments and weapons of sexual selection frequently exhibit prolific interspecific diversity of form. Yet, most studies of this diversity have focused on ornaments involved with female mate choice, rather than on the weapons of male competition. With few exceptions, the mechanisms of divergence in weapon morphology remain largely unexplored. Here, we characterize the evolutionary radiation of one type of weapon: beetle horns. We use partial sequences from four nuclear and three mitochondrial genes to develop a phylogenetic hypothesis for a worldwide sample of 48 species from the dung beetle genus Onthophagus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). We then use these data to test for multiple evolutionary origins of horns and to characterize the evolutionary radiation of horns. Although our limited sampling of one of the world's most species-rich genera almost certainly underestimates the number of evolutionary events, our phylogeny reveals prolific evolutionary lability of these exaggerated sexually selected weapons (more than 25 separate gains and losses of five different horn types). We discuss these results in the context of the natural history of these beetles and explore ways that sexual selection and ecology may have interacted to generate this extraordinary diversity of weapon morphology. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 12 2003
Remko Leys
Abstract Calcrete aquifers in arid inland Australia have recently been found to contain the world's most diverse assemblage of subterranean diving beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae). In this study we test whether the adaptive shift hypothesis (ASH) or the climatic relict hypothesis (CRH) is the most likely mode of evolution for the Australian subterranean diving beetles by using a phylogeny based on two sequenced fragments of mitochondrial genes (CO1 and 16S-tRNA-ND1) and linearized using a relaxed molecular clock method. Most individual calcrete aquifers contain an assemblage of diving beetle species of distantly related lineages and/or a single pair of sister species that significantly differ in size and morphology. Evolutionary transitions from surface to subterranean life took place in a relatively small time frame between nine and four million years ago. Most of the variation in divergence times of the sympatric sister species is explained by the variation in latitude of the localities, which correlates with the onset of aridity from the north to the south and with an aridity maximum in the Early Pliocene (five mya). We conclude that individual calcrete aquifers were colonized by several distantly related diving beetle lineages. Several lines of evidence from molecular clock analyses support the CRH, indicating that all evolutionary transitions took place during the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene as a result of aridification. [source]


Abstract:, The fossilized larva of an aquatic beetle, Protodytiscus johillaensis gen. et sp. nov., is described from a ferruginous micaceous siltstone bed of the Permo-Triassic Parsora Formation of the South Rewa Gondwana Basin, Madhya Pradesh, India, and its systematic position and ordinal relationships within the coleopterous suborder Adephaga are discussed. Hitherto, the oldest known fossils of the hydradephagan superfamily Dytiscoidea have been Jurassic. The discovery of P. johillaensis extends the range of the Dytiscoidea back to the Permo-Triassic period. [source]

Sensory structures involved in prey detection on the labial palp of the ant-hunting beetle Siagona europaea Dejean 1826 (Coleoptera, Carabidae)

ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 3 2010
Anita Giglio
Abstract Giglio, A., Ferrero E.A., Perrotta, E., Talarico, F.F. and Zetto Brandmayr, T. 2010. Sensory structures involved in prey detection on the labial palp of the ant-hunting beetle Siagona europaea Dejean 1826 (Coleoptera, Carabidae). ,Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 91: 328,334 The ultrastructure and distribution of sensilla on the labial palps of a myrmecophagous carabid beetle, Siagona europaea, were investigated using scanning and transmission electron microscopy techniques. Five types of sensilla were identified: three types of sensilla basiconica on the apical sensory area and two types, one sensillum trichodeum and one coeloconicum, on the external palp surface. On morphological grounds, the s. basiconica type 1 were considered as olfactory, the type 2 as gustatory, the type 3 and the s. trichodeum as mechanoreceptive, and the s. coeloconicum as a thermo/hygroreceptor. Their function is discussed in relation to prey detection and habitat adaptations. [source]

Species,area relationships of red-listed species in old boreal forests: a large-scale data analysis

Olli-Pekka Tikkanen
Abstract Aim, Species,area relationships are often applied, but not generally approved, to guide practical conservation planning. The specific species group analysed may affect their applicability. We asked if species,area curves constructed from extensive databases of various sectors of natural resource administration can provide insights into large-scale conservation of boreal forest biodiversity if the analyses are restricted only to red-listed species. Location, Finland, northern Europe. Methods, Our data included 12,645 records of 219 red-listed Coleoptera and Fungi from the whole of Finland. The forest data also covered the entire country, 202,761 km2. The units of species,area analyses were 224 municipalities where the red-listed forest species have been observed. We performed a hierarchical partitioning analysis to reveal the relative importance of different potential explanatory variables. Based on the results, for all red-listed species, species associated with coniferous trees and for Fungi, the area of economically over-aged forests explained the best the variation in data. For species associated with deciduous trees and Coleoptera, the forest area explained better variation in data than the area of old forests. In the subsequent log,log species,area regression analyses, we used the best variables as the explanatory variable for each species group. Results, There was a strong relationship between the number of all red-listed species and the area of old forests remaining, with a z -value of 0.45. The area explained better the number of species associated with conifer trees and Fungi than the number of species associated with deciduous trees and Coleoptera. Main conclusions, The high z -values of species,area curves indicate that the remaining old-growth patches constitute a real archipelago for the conifer-associated red-listed species, since lower values had been expected if the surrounding habitat matrix were a suitable habitat for the species analysed. [source]

Smaller and more numerous harvesting gaps emulate natural forest disturbances: a biodiversity test case using rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae)

Jan Klimaszewski
ABSTRACT Aim To evaluate changes in the abundance, species richness and community composition of rove beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) in response to three configurations of experimental gap cuts and to the effects of ground scarification in early succession yellow birch-dominated boreal forest. In each experimental treatment, total forest removed was held constant (35% removal by partial cutting with a concomitant decrease in gap size) but the total number of gaps was increased (two, four and eight gaps, respectively), resulting in an experimental increase in the total amount of ,edge' within each stand. Location Early succession yellow birch-dominated forests, Quebec, Canada. Methods Pitfall traps, ANOVA, MIXED procedure in sas, post hoc Tukey's adjustment, rarefaction estimates, sum-of-squares and distance-based multivariate regression trees (ssMRT, dbMRT). Results Estimates of species richness using rarefaction were highest in clearcut and two-gap treatments, decreased in smaller and more numerous gaps and were significantly higher in scarified areas than in unscarified areas. ANOVA indicated a significant impact of harvesting on the overall standardized catch. Post hoc Tukey's tests indicated that the total catch of all rove beetles was significantly higher in uncut forests than in the treated areas. Both sum-of-squares and distance-based multivariate regression trees indicated that community structure of rove beetles differed among treatments. Assemblages were grouped into (a) control plots, (b) four- and eight-gap treatments and (c) two-gap and clearcut treatments. Main conclusions Rove beetle composition responded significantly to increasing gap size. Composition among intermediate and small-sized gap treatments (four- and eight-gap treatments) was more similar to uncut control forests than were larger gap treatments (two-gap) and clearcuts. Effects of scarification were nested within the harvested treatments. When the total area of forest removed is held constant, smaller, more numerous gaps are more similar to uncut control stands than to larger gaps and falls more closely within the natural forest heterogeneity. [source]

Limited phylogeographic structure in the flightless ground beetle, Calathus ruficollis, in southern California

Stylianos Chatzimanolis
ABSTRACT The California Floristic Province is home to more than 8000 species of beetles, yet their geographical patterns of supra- and infraspecific diversity remain largely unexplored. In this paper, we investigate the phylogeography and population demographics of a flightless ground beetle, Calathus ruficollis (Coleoptera: Carabidae), in southern California. We sampled 136 specimens from 25 localities divided into 10 populations using a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene. We tested several hypotheses, including the association of geography with particular clades and populations, the degree of differentiation among regions, and the expansion of populations. Parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses along with nested clade analysis and amova indicate a deep split between the southern Sierra Nevada population and populations south and west. This split corresponds closely to the split between subspecies C. ruficollis ignicollis (southern Sierra Nevada) and C. ruficollis ruficollis. Populations otherwise exhibit limited geographical structure, though Fst values indicate some local differentiation. Mismatch distributions and Fu's Fs indicate range expansion of several populations, suggesting that some structure may have been obscured by recent exchange. The population of C. ruficollis on Santa Cruz Island, which might have been expected to be isolated, shares several haplotypes with mainland populations, appearing to represent multiple colonizations. [source]

Integrating DNA data and traditional taxonomy to streamline biodiversity assessment: an example from edaphic beetles in the Klamath ecoregion, California, USA

Ryan M. Caesar
ABSTRACT Conservation and land management decisions may be misguided by inaccurate or misinterpreted knowledge of biodiversity. Non-systematists often lack taxonomic expertise necessary for an accurate assessment of biodiversity. Additionally, there are far too few taxonomists to contribute significantly to the task of identifying species for specimens collected in biodiversity studies. While species level identification is desirable for making informed management decisions concerning biodiversity, little progress has been made to reduce this taxonomic deficiency. Involvement of non-systematists in the identification process could hasten species identification. Incorporation of DNA sequence data has been recognized as one way to enhance biodiversity assessment and species identification. DNA data are now technologically and economically feasible for most scientists to apply in biodiversity studies. However, its use is not widespread and means of its application has not been extensively addressed. This paper illustrates how such data can be used to hasten biodiversity assessment of species using a little-known group of edaphic beetles. Partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I was sequenced for 171 individuals of feather-wing beetles (Coleoptera: Ptiliidae) from the Klamath ecoregion, which is part of a biodiversity hotspot, the California Floristic Province. A phylogram of these data was reconstructed via parsimony and the strict consensus of 28,000 equally parsimonious trees was well resolved except for peripheral nodes. Forty-two voucher specimens were selected for further identification from clades that were associated with many synonymous and non-synonymous nucleotide changes. A ptiliid taxonomic expert identified nine species that corresponded to monophyletic groups. These results allowed for a more accurate assessment of ptiliid species diversity in the Klamath ecoregion. In addition, we found that the number of amino acid changes or percentage nucleotide difference did not associate with species limits. This study demonstrates that the complementary use of taxonomic expertise and molecular data can improve both the speed and the accuracy of species-level biodiversity assessment. We believe this represents a means for non-systematists to collaborate directly with taxonomists in species identification and represents an improvement over methods that rely solely on parataxonomy or sequence data. [source]

Subpopulations of Cryptocephalus beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): geographically close but genetically far

R. W. Piper
Abstract. The leaf beetles Cryptocephalus coryli, C. decemmaculatus and C. nitidulus are of conservation concern and are included on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. The distinctiveness of the disjunct remaining populations of these beetles was compared to that of more continuously distributed Cryptocephalus species. This was carried out with a view to defining evolutionary significant units (ESUs) in the rare species. A portion of the cytochrome b gene, an intergenic spacer and partial tRNA was analysed from 93 specimens of Cryptocephalus beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Considerable sequence divergence was apparent in all the species, even at an intersite scale when the distances between sampled localities were very small (< 1 km). Intrapopulation, intersite and interpopulation divergence observed in the rare species was reflected in the species that have a more continuous distribution, implying that dispersal ability in these species is poor and gene flow can be impeded by relatively trivial barriers to dispersal. The evidence suggests that the disjunct populations of the rare Cryptocephalus species can, tentatively, be considered as ESUs. This has important implications for management strategies and reintroductions. [source]

Climatic stress, food availability and human activity as determinants of endemism patterns in the Mediterranean region: the case of dung beetles (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea) in the Iberian Peninsula

Jos R. Verd
Abstract. A study to assess the influence of abiotic (climatic conditions) and biotic factors (food resources, habitat preference and human activity) on endemism patterns of dung beetles in the Mediterranean region was conducted in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. The Thermicity Index (It), the Mediterraneity Index (Im3) and the Aridity Index (Ia) were used to assess the influence of abiotic factors. Relative rabbit density (DR), the proportion of landscape used historically for grazing by sheep and goats and the nature of the food resource were used to assess the influence of biotic factors. Relative endemism (EN) of dung beetle assemblages was positively and significantly related with all of the factors considered. However, the Aridity and Mediterraneity Indices are the best predictors of EN. The predicted endemism (EN = 0.017 Ia + 0.004 Im3 + 0.422) was highly positively and significantly related with the observed endemism. Dung beetle assemblages with the highest relative endemism were observed in the south-eastern part of the Iberian Peninsula. This distribution corresponded to the highest Aridity and Mediterraneity. In contrast, dung beetle assemblages with lower endemism were located in more humid and temperate areas. Assemblages of dung beetles with the highest endemism comprise many species adapted to aridity and the exploitation of dry dung pellets. Conservation of traditional grazing activity by pellet-dropping sheep and goats might benefit the maintenance of dung beetle biodiversity in Mediterranean ecosystems. [source]

Ultrastructural identification of the antennal gland complement in Siagona europaea Dejean 1826, a myrmecophagous carabid beetle

ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 3 2005
Anita Giglio
Abstract We examined antennal exocrine glands in adults of a myrmecophagous carabid beetle, Siagona europaea Dejean 1826 (Coleoptera, Carabidae), by light and electron microscopy and we identified two types of integumentary glands. The first type includes glands formed by three cells (a secretory cell, an intercalary cell and a duct cell) known as class 3 of Noirot and Quennedey (1991). The secretory cell has several large multivesicular electron-lucent bodies, indicating a glycoprotein product associated with lipids. We hypothesize that this secretion protects the surface of antennae and sensilla from wear. The second group of glands includes unicellular glands known as oenocytes (class 2 of Noirot and Quennedey, 1991), which secrete epicuticular hydrocarbons through epidermal cells. [source]

Comparative morphology and evolutionary pathways of the mouthparts in spore-feeding Staphylinoidea (Coleoptera)

ACTA ZOOLOGICA, Issue 3 2003
Oliver Betz
Abstract This study surveys the external morphology of the mouthparts in the guild of spore-feeders among the coleopterous superfamily Staphylinoidea, evaluating the influence of different phylogenetic and ecological starting points on the formation of their mouthparts. Our emphasis is on a scanning electron microscope analysis (SEM) of the involved trophic structures in spore-feeding larvae and adults of the Ptiliidae, Leiodidae and Staphylinidae, describing the fine structure of their main functional elements. Functionally, mouthpart structures resemble brushes, brooms, combs, rakes, rasps, excavators, knives, thorns, cram-brushes, bristle troughs, blocks and differently structured grinding surfaces. Their different involvement in the various aspects of the feeding process (i.e. food gathering, transporting, channelling and grinding) is deduced from our SEM analyses plus direct video observations. We infer five different patterns of food transport and processing, discriminating adults of ptiliids, leiodids plus staphylinids (excluding some aleocharines), several aleocharine staphylinids, and the larvae of leiodids and staphylinids. The structural diversity of the mouthparts increases in the order from (1) Ptiliidae, (2) Leiodidae towards (3) Staphylinidae, reflecting the increasing systematic and ecological diversity of these groups. Comparisons with non-spore-feeders show that among major lineages of staphylinoids, shifts from general microphagy to sporophagy are not necessarily constrained by, nor strongly reflected in, mouthpart morphology. Nevertheless, in several of these lineages the organs of food intake and grinding have experienced particular fine-structural modifications, which have undergone convergent evolution, probably in response to specialized mycophagy such as spore-feeding. These modifications involve advanced galeal rakes, galeal or lacinial ,spore brushes' with arrays of stout bristles, reinforced obliquely ventrad orientated prosthecal lobes and the differentiations of the molar grinding surfaces into stout teeth or tubercles. In addition, several staphylinids of the tachyporine and oxyteline groups with reduced mandibular molae have evolved secondary trituration surfaces, which in some aleocharines are paralleled by considerable re-constructions of the labium,hypopharynx. [source]

The effects of green tree retention and subsequent prescribed burning on ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in boreal pine-dominated forests

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 5 2006
Petri Martikainen
We studied how two methods to promote biodiversity in managed forests, i.e. green tree retention and prescribed fire, affect the assemblages of carabid beetles. Our experiment consisted of 24 study sites, each 3,5 ha in size, which had been prepared according to factorial design. Each of the eight treatment combinations determined by the two factors explored , tree retention level (0, 10, 50 m3/ha,1 and uncut controls) and prescribed use of fire (yes/no) , was replicated three times. We sampled carabids using pitfall traps one year after the treatments. Significantly more individuals were caught in most of the burned sites, but this difference was partially reflective of the trap-catches of Pterostichus adstrictus. The fire did not increase no. of P. adstrictus in the uncut sites as much as in the other sites. Species richness was significantly affected by both factors, being higher in the burned than in the unburned sites and in the harvested than in the unharvested sites. Many species were concentrated in the groups of retention trees in the burned sites, but only a few were in the unburned sites. The species turnover was greater in the burned than in the unburned sites, as indicated by the NMDS ordinations. Greater numbers of smaller sized species and proportion of brachypterous species were present in the burned sites. Fire-favored species, and also the majority of other species that prefer open habitats were more abundantly caught in the burned sites than in the unburned sites. Dead wood or logging waste around the traps did not correlate with the occurrence of species. We conclude that carabids are well adapted to disturbances, and that frequent use of prescribed fire is essential for the maintenance of natural assemblages of carabid beetles in the boreal forest. Small retention tree groups can not maintain assemblages of uncut forest, but they can be important by providing food, shelter and breeding sites for many species, particularly in the burned sites. [source]

Ground beetle species (Coleoptera, Carabidae) associations with land cover variables in northern England and southern Scotland

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 4 2004
M. D. Eyre
Distribution data concerning 172 ground beetle species derived from 1145 pitfall trap sites in northern England and southern Scotland were used to assess the relationship between species distribution and 12 satellite-derived land cover variables at the regional scale. A number of species were strongly associated with one cover type and negatively with others. The major variation was for preferences for covers in upland or lowland parts of the region. Other distinct preferences for some species were covers such as those at the coast whilst a number of common species showed no strong preference for any cover variable. The synthesis of ground beetle species distribution and satellite-derived cover data is discussed in relation to environmental assessment and change. [source]

Modelling the species richness distribution for French Aphodiidae (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea)

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2004
Jorge M. Lobo
The species richness distribution of the French Aphodiidae was predicted using Generalized Linear Models to relate the number of species to spatial, topographic and climate variables. The entire French territory was studied, divided into 301 0.720.36 degree grid squares; the model was developed using 66 grid squares previously identified as well sampled. After eliminating nine outliers, the final model accounted for 74.8% of total deviance with a mean Jackknife predictive error of 10.5%. Three richest areas could be distinguished: the western head (Brittany), southwestern France, and, to a lesser extent, the northeastern region. Sampling effort should now be focused on the western head, where no square was correctly sampled, and on southwestern France, which was recognised as a diversity hotspot, both for Aphodiidae and for Scarabaeidae. The largest fraction of variability (37%) in the number of species was accounted for by the combined effect of the three groups of explanatory variables. After controlling for the effect of significant climate and topographic variables, spatial variables still explain 27% of variation in species richness, suggesting the existence of a spatial pattern in the distribution of species richness (greater diversity in western France) that can not be explained by the environmental variables considered here. We hypothesize that this longitudinal spatial pattern is due to the relevance of a western colonization pathway along the glacial-interglacial cycles, as well as by the barrier effect played by the Alps. [source]

Diversity and abundance patterns of phytophagous insect communities on alien and native host plants in the Brassicaceae

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 6 2003
Mark Frenzel
The herbivore load (abundance and species richness of herbivores) on alien plants is supposed to be one of the keys to understand the invasiveness of species. We investigate the phytophagous insect communities on cabbage plants (Brassicaceae) in Europe. We compare the communities of endophagous and ectophagous insects as well as of Coleoptera and Lepidoptera on native and alien cabbage plant species. Contrary to many other reports, we found no differences in the herbivore load between native and alien hosts. The majority of insect species attacked alien as well as native hosts. Across insect species, there was no difference in the patterns of host range on native and on alien hosts. Likewise the similarity of insect communities across pairs of host species was not different between natives and aliens. We conclude that the general similarity in the community patterns between native and alien cabbage plant species are due to the chemical characteristics of this plant family. All cabbage plants share glucosinolates. This may facilitate host switches from natives to aliens. Hence the presence of native congeners may influence invasiveness of alien plants. [source]

Testing abundance-range size relationships in European carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae)

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 5 2003
D. Johan Kotze
Four of the eight hypotheses proposed in the literature for explaining the relationship between abundance and range size (the sampling artifact, phylogenetic non-independence, range position and resource breadth hypotheses) were tested by using atlas data for carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) from Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. A positive relationship between abundance and partial range size was found in all three countries, and the variation in abundance was lower for widespread species. Analysis of the data did not support three of the proposed hypotheses, but did support the resource breadth hypothesis (species having broader environmental tolerances and being able to use a wider range or resources will have higher local densities and be more widely distributed than more specialised species). Examination of species' characteristics revealed that widespread species are generally large bodied, generalists (species with wide niche breadths occurring in a variety of habitat types) and are little influenced by human-altered landscapes, while species with restricted distributions are smaller bodied, specialists (species with small niche breadths occurring in only one or two habitat types), and favour natural habitat. Landscape alteration may be an important factor influencing carabid abundance and range size in these three countries with a long history of human-induced environmental changes. [source]

Does habitat use explain large scale species richness patterns of aquatic beetles in Europe?

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 2 2003
Ignacio Ribera
Regularities in species richness are widely observed but controversy continues over its mechanistic explanation. Because richness patterns are usually a compound measure derived from taxonomically diverse species with different ecological requirements, these analyses may confound diverse causes of species numbers. Here we investigate species richness in the aquatic beetle fauna of Europe, separating major taxonomic groups and two major ecological types, species occurring in standing and running water bodies. We collated species distributions for 800+ species of water beetles in 15 regions across western Europe. Species number in any of these regions was related to three variables: total area size, geographic connectedness of the area, and latitude. Pooled species numbers were accurately predicted, but correlations were different for species associated with either running or standing water. The former were mostly correlated with latitude, while the latter were only correlated with the measure of connectedness or with area size. These differences were generally also observed in each of the four phylogenetically independent lineages of aquatic Coleoptera when analysed separately. We propose that effects of habitat, in this case possibly mediated by different long term persistence of running and standing water bodies, impose constraints at the population or local level which, if effective over larger temporal and spatial scales, determine global patterns of species richness. [source]

Host plant variation in plant-mediated indirect effects: moth boring-induced susceptibility of willows to a specialist leaf beetle

Abstract 1.,We examined the plant-mediated indirect effects of the stem-boring moth Endoclita excrescens (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) on the leaf beetle Plagiodera versicolora (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in three willow species, Salix gilgiana, S. eriocarpa, and S. serissaefolia. 2.,When the stem-boring moth larvae damaged stems in the previous year, willows were stimulated to produce vigorously growing lateral shoots on these stems. These new lateral shoots were significantly longer and the upper leaves had significantly higher nitrogen and water content than current-year shoots on unbored stems, although the carbon content and leaf dry mass were not different between lateral and current-year shoots. 3.,In the field, leaf beetle larvae and adults had significantly greater densities on lateral shoots of bored stems than on current-year shoots of unbored stems. A laboratory experiment showed that female beetles had significantly greater mass and fecundity when fed on leaves of newly-emerged lateral shoots. Thus, the stem-boring moth had a positive effect on the temporally and spatially separated leaf beetle by increasing resource availability by inducing compensatory regrowth. 4.,The strength of the indirect effects on the density and performance of the leaf beetle differed among willow species, because there was interspecific variation in host quality and herbivore-induced changes in plant traits. In particular, we suggest that the differences in magnitude of the changes among willow species in shoot length and leaf nitrogen content greatly affected the strength of the plant-regrowth mediated indirect effect, coupled with host-plant preference of the leaf beetle. [source]

Environmental features influencing Carabid beetle (Coleoptera) assemblages along a recently deglaciated area in the Alpine region

Abstract 1.,The spatio-temporal approach was used to evaluate the environmental features influencing carabid beetle assemblages along a chronosequence of an Italian Alpine glacier foreland. The influence of environmental variables on species richness, morphology (wing and body length), and distribution along the chronosequence was tested. 2.,Species richness was found to be a poor indicator of habitat due to weak influences by environmental variables. It seems that the neighbouring habitats of a glacier foreland are not able to determine significant changes in carabid species richness. 3.,Instead it appears that history (age since deglaciation) and habitat architecture of a glacier foreland are strongly correlated to species adaptive morphological traits, such as wing morphology and body length. Assemblages characterised by species with reduced wing size are linked to the older stages of the chronosequence, where habitat is more structured. Assemblages characterised by the largest species are linked to the younger sites near the glacier. These morphological differentiations are explained in detail. 4.,Habitat age can therefore be considered the main force determining assemblage composition. On the basis of the relationship between morphological traits and environmental variables, it seems likely that age since deglaciation is the main variable influencing habitat structure (primary effect) on the Forni foreland. The strong relationship between carabid assemblages and habitat type indicates that site age has but a secondary effect on carabid assemblages. This may be utilised to interpret potential changes in assemblages linked to future glacier retreat. [source]

Coexistence of natural enemies in a multitrophic host,parasitoid system

Michael B. Bonsall
Abstract., 1. This study explored the temporal and spatial aspects of coexistence over many generations in a multispecies host,parasitoid assemblage. 2. The long-term interaction between the cabbage root fly, Delia radicum (Diptera: Anthomyiidae), and two of its natural enemies, Trybliographa rapae (Hymenoptera: Fitigidae) and Aleochara bilineata (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae), in a cultivated field at Silwood Park over 19 years was explored. 3. Although time series showed that the populations were regulated, the impact of the natural enemies was highly variable. Within-year determinants showed that the spatial response of the specialist parasitoid, T. rapae, was predominantly independent of host density while A. bilineata acted simply as a randomly foraging generalist parasitoid. 4. These findings are compared and contrasted with an earlier investigation of the same system when only the first 9 years of the time series were available. This study demonstrated the potential of long-term field studies for exploring hypotheses on population regulation, persistence, and coexistence. [source]

Does aggregation benefit bark beetles by diluting predation?

Links between a group-colonisation strategy, the absence of emergent multiple predator effects
Abstract., 1. Aggregation in bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) aids in mate attraction and resource procurement when colonising well-defended plants; however, some species colonise primarily poorly defended plants, and intraspecific competition increases mortality. The hypothesis that decreased risk of predation was a potential benefit to aggregation in such circumstances was tested, using the pine engraver, Ips pini (Say) and its two major predators Thanasimus dubius (F.) (Coleoptera: Cleridae) and Platysoma cylindrica (Paykull) (Coleoptera: Histeridae). Both single- and multiple-predator effects, across a range of prey densities, were tested. 2. Both male and female colonisation events increased with herbivore density, in an asymptotic fashion. 3. Predators decreased the number of colonisers in a density-dependent manner, consistent with a type II functional response. 4. The proportional impact of predators decreased with increased herbivore colonisation densities. These findings indicate that predator dilution may be a viable benefit to aggregation. 5. Total emergence of the herbivore also increased with density, although the net replacement rate during one generation was independent of initial arrival density. This was likely due to larval predation, which negates potential relationships between per capita reproductive success and establishment density. 6. Each predator species decreased I. pini's net replacement rate by approximately 42%, and their combined effect was approximately 70%. 7. Overall, these predators modified their prey's establishment and adult mortality relationships in additive manners. This is somewhat surprising, given the potential for emergent effects due to interactions between multiple predators foraging within a common habitat. The persistence of additivity, rather than risk reduction or enhancement to the prey, may increase the predator-swamping benefit to aggregation for this herbivore. 8. The effects of these predators are substitutable, and likely exert equivalent selective pressures to mask signals at the whole-plant level. [source]

Tracking larval insect movement within soil using high resolution X-ray microtomography

Scott N. Johnson
Abstract., 1. In contrast to above-ground insects, comparatively little is known about the behaviour of subterranean insects, due largely to the difficulty of studying them in situ. 2. The movement of newly hatched (neonate) clover root weevil (Sitona lepidus L. Coleoptera: Curculinidae) larvae was studied non-invasively using recently developed high resolution X-ray microtomography. 3. The movement and final position of S. lepidus larvae in the soil was reliably established using X-ray microtomography, when compared with larval positions that were determined by destructively sectioning the soil column. 4. Newly hatched S. lepidus larvae were seen to attack the root rhizobial nodules of their host plant, white clover (Trifolium repens L.). Sitona lepidus larvae travelled between 9 and 27 mm in 9 h at a mean speed of 1.8 mm h,1. 5. Sitona lepidus larvae did not move through the soil in a linear manner, but changed trajectory in both the lateral and vertical planes. [source]

Density-mediated responses of bark beetles to host allelochemicals: a link between individual behaviour and population dynamics

Kimberly F. Wallin
Abstract ,1. Bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) accept or reject host conifers based partly on concentrations of phloem monoterpenes. They colonise trees in aggregations, in response to pheromones that attract flying beetles to trees undergoing colonisation. A series of entry and gallery construction assays was conducted to determine whether responses by individual beetles to monoterpenes are altered by pheromones and/or the presence of other beetles. 2. Entry into the amended media by Ips pini and the length of time until entry were not influenced by the presence of aggregation pheromones. 3. Entry into amended media was influenced by the presence of other beetles on the surface of, or constructing galleries in, the substrate. The effects of alpha-pinene and limonene on host entry behaviour were mediated by the density of beetles on the surface of the assay arena, and by the density of beetles constructing galleries within the medium. 4. The percentage of beetles entering medium amended with higher concentrations of monoterpenes increased with increased density of beetles on the surface of the assay arena, until a threshold density of three or four beetles per assay arena, after which entrance rate declined. 5. The presence of other beetles constructing galleries elicited more rapid entry by the test beetles. 6. Gallery lengths were generally higher in the presence of aggregation pheromones. 7. Gallery lengths increased with increased density of beetles within the assay arena. 8. These results suggest a link between the density of bark beetles and responses of individuals. This linkage may partially explain behavioural changes observed during population eruptions. [source]

Bimodal life cycle of the burying beetle Nicrophorus quadripunctatus in relation to its summer reproductive diapause

Tomoyosi Nisimura
Abstract 1. Under natural conditions in Kyoto, Japan, the reproductive activities of Nicrophorus quadripunctatus Kraatz (Coleoptera: Silphidae) decreased in summer and the species showed a bimodal life cycle. 2. In the laboratory, most adult pairs raised at 20 C under a LD 12:12 h regime reproduced when provided with a piece of chicken. In adults raised at 20 C under a LD 16:8 h regime, however, both reproductive behaviour and ovarian development were reduced. It is concluded that these adults entered a reproductive summer diapause. 3. High temperature (25 C) also suppressed the reproductive behaviour even under a favourable LD 12:12 h regime. In the field, therefore, adults reduce their reproductive activity in summer because of diapause induced by long-day photoperiods and direct inhibition of reproduction by high temperatures. 4. When the temperature was changed from 20 C to 25 C immediately after hatching of larvae, they reached the wandering stage in 95% of adult pairs. When the temperature was changed from 20 C to 25 C immediately after oviposition, however, no larvae hatched in 85% of pairs. Egg mortality was significantly higher at 25 C than at 20 and 22.5 C; no eggs hatched at 27.5 C. The physiological mechanisms for reducing reproduction probably prevent the beetles from inefficient oviposition in summer. [source]

The role of olfactory stimuli in the location of weakened hosts by twig-infesting Pityophthorus spp.

Pierluigi Bonello
Summary 1. Senescing, shade-suppressed, or broken branches of Monterey pine Pinus radiata are infested by twig beetles in the genus Pityophthorus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). The studies reported here tested whether twig beetles can discriminate between healthy and pitch canker-diseased branches, whether diseased branch tips produce more ethylene than undamaged controls, and whether ethylene and other volatiles, produced by the plant in response to tissue damage, are utilised by twig beetles in host location. 2. Significantly greater numbers of twig beetles were reared from pitch canker-symptomatic than from pitch canker-asymptomatic branches of Monterey pine collected in the field. 3. Needles of Monterey pine branches inoculated with the pitch canker fungal pathogen Fusarium circinatum produced significantly higher levels of ethylene than needles of control branches, and this was evident just prior to, and during, symptom expression. 4. In trapping studies in which pheromone production was prevented, there was no evidence of attraction of twig beetles to a source of ethylene alone, to cut host branches, or to cut branches treated with the ethylene-releasing compound, ethephon. The results suggest that twig beetles identify weakened branches after landing. [source]

The impact of an alien plant on a native plant,pollinator network: an experimental approach

Martha E. Lopezaraiza, Mikel
Abstract Studies of pairwise interactions have shown that an alien plant can affect the pollination of a native plant, this effect being mediated by shared pollinators. Here we use a manipulative field experiment, to investigate the impact of the alien plant Impatiens glandulifera on an entire community of coflowering native plants. Visitation and pollen transport networks were constructed to compare replicated I. glandulifera invaded and I. glandulifera removal plots. Invaded plots had significantly higher visitor species richness, visitor abundance and flower visitation. However, the pollen transport networks were dominated by alien pollen grains in the invaded plots and consequently higher visitation may not translate in facilitation for pollination. The more generalized insects were more likely to visit the alien plant, and Hymenoptera and Hemiptera were more likely to visit the alien than Coleoptera. Our data indicate that generalized native pollinators can provide a pathway of integration for alien plants into native visitation systems. [source]

Tillage affects the activity-density, absolute density, and feeding damage of the pea leaf weevil in spring pea

Timothy D. Hatten
Abstract Conversion from conventional-tillage (CT) to no-tillage (NT) agriculture can affect pests and beneficial organisms in various ways. NT has been shown to reduce the relative abundance and feeding damage of pea leaf weevil (PLW), Sitona lineatus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in spring pea, especially during the early-season colonization period in the Palouse region of northwest Idaho. Pitfall traps were used to quantify tillage effects on activity-density of PLW in field experiments conducted during 2001 and 2002. As capture rate of pitfall traps for PLW might be influenced by effects of tillage treatment, two mark-recapture studies were employed to compare trapping rates in NT and CT spring pea during 2003. Also in 2003, direct sampling was used to estimate PLW densities during the colonization period, and to assess PLW feeding damage on pea. PLW activity-density was significantly lower in NT relative to CT during the early colonization period (May) of 2001 and 2002, and during the late colonization period (June) of 2002. Activity-density was not different between treatments during the early emergence (July) or late emergence (August) periods in either year of the study. Trap capture rates did not differ between tillage systems in the mark-recapture studies, suggesting that pitfall trapping provided unbiased estimates of PLW relative abundances. PLW absolute densities and feeding damage were significantly lower in NT than in CT. These results indicate that NT provides a pest suppression benefit in spring pea. [source]

Choosing natural enemies for conservation biological control: use of the prey detectability half-life to rank key predators of Colorado potato beetle

Matthew H. Greenstone
Abstract Determining relative strengths of trophic links is critical for ranking predators for conservation biological control. Molecular gut-content analysis enables ranking by incidence of prey remains in the gut, but differential digestive rates bias such rankings toward predators with slower rates. This bias can be reduced by indexing each predator's half-life to that of the middle-most half-life in a predator complex. We demonstrate this with data from key species in the predator complex of Colorado potato beetle (CPB), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), comprising adults and immatures of four taxonomically diverse species. These animals display order-of-magnitude variation in detectability half-life for the cytochrome oxidase I DNA sequence of a single CPB egg: from 7.0 h in larval Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to 84.4 h in nymphal Perillus bioculatus (Fabricius) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). The raw species-specific incidence of L. decemlineata DNA in the guts of 351 field-collected predators ranged from 11 to 95%, ranking them as follows: C. maculata adults < Lebia grandis Hentz (Coleoptera: Carabidae) adults < Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) adults < P. maculiventris nymphs < P. bioculatus adults < P. bioculatus nymphs. Half-life adjustment reorders the rankings: C. maculata adults < P. bioculatus adults < P. bioculatus nymphs < P. maculiventris nymphs < L. grandis adults < P. maculiventris adults. These changes in status demonstrate the value of half-life-adjusted molecular gut-content data for ranking predators. This is the first study to measure prey detectability half-lives for the key arthropod predators of a major insect pest, and to use them to evaluate the relative impact of all adults and immatures in this predator complex. [source]