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Effects of latitude and conspecific plant density on insect leaf herbivory in oak saplings and seedlings.

Authors
  • Moreira, Xoaquín1
  • Abdala-Roberts, Luis2
  • De Frenne, Pieter3
  • Galmán, Andrea1
  • Gaytán, Álvaro4
  • Jaatinen, Raimo5
  • Lago-Núñez, Beatriz1
  • Meeussen, Camille3
  • Pulkkinen, Pertti5
  • Rasmussen, Pil U6
  • Ten Hoopen, Jan P J G7
  • Timmermans, Bart G H8
  • Vázquez-González, Carla1
  • Bos, Nick9
  • Castagneyrol, Bastien10
  • Tack, Ayco J M4
  • 1 Misión Biológica de Galicia (MBG-CSIC), Apdo. 28, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 2 Departamento de Ecología Tropical, Campus de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Apartado Postal 4-116, Itzimná. 97000. Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico. , (Mexico)
  • 3 Forest and Nature Lab, Ghent University, Geraardsbergsesteenweg 267, BE-9090, Gontrode-Melle, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 4 Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, Svante Arrhenius väg 20A, Stockholm, Sweden. , (Sweden)
  • 5 Natural Resources Institute Finland. Haapastensyrjä Breeding Station, FI-16200, Läyliäinen, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 6 The National Research Centre for the Working Environment, 2100, Copenhagen, Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 7 OneNature Ecology, Bachlaan 30, 6815 DE, Arnhem, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 8 Department of Agriculture, Louis Bolk Institute, Kosterijland 3-5, 3981 AJ, Bunnik, The Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 9 Section for Ecology and Evolution, University of Copenhagen, 2200, Copenhagen, Denmark. , (Denmark)
  • 10 BIOGECO, INRAE, Univ. Bordeaux, 33610, Cestas, France. , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal of Botany
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Volume
108
Issue
1
Pages
172–176
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1596
PMID: 33448059
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Abiotic factors and plant species traits have been shown to drive latitudinal gradients in herbivory, and yet, population-level factors have been largely overlooked within this context. One such factor is plant density, which may influence the strength of herbivory and may vary with latitude. We measured insect herbivory and conspecific plant density (CPD) of oak (Quercus robur) seedlings and saplings along a 17° latitudinal gradient (2700 km) to test whether herbivory exhibited a latitudinal gradient, whether herbivory was associated with CPD, and whether such an association changed with latitude. We found a positive but saturating association between latitude and leaf herbivory. Furthermore, we found no significant relationship between CPD and herbivory, and such lack of density effects remained consistent throughout the sampled latitudinal gradient. Despite the apparently negligible influence of plant density on herbivory for Q. robur, further research with other plant taxa and in different types of plant communities are needed to investigate density-dependent processes shaping geographical variation in plant-herbivore interactions. © 2020 Botanical Society of America.

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