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Herbivory strongly influences among-population variation in reproductive output of Lythrum salicaria in its native range
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Stockholm Univ, Dept Ecol Environm & Plant Sci, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
Umea Univ, Dept Ecol & Environm Sci, S-90187 Umea, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
2016 (English)In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 180, no 4, 1159-1171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Herbivory can negatively affect several components of plant reproduction. Yet, because of a lack of experimental studies involving multiple populations, the extent to which differences in herbivory contribute to among-population variation in plant reproductive success is poorly known. We determined experimentally the effects of insect herbivory on reproductive output in nine natural populations of the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria along a disturbance gradient in an archipelago in northern Sweden, and we quantified among-population differentiation in resistance to herbivory in a common-garden experiment in the same area. The intensity of leaf herbivory varied >500-fold and mean female reproductive success >400-fold among the study populations. The intensity of herbivory was lowest in populations subject to strong disturbance from ice and wave action. Experimental removal of insect herbivores showed that the effect of herbivory on female reproductive success was correlated with the intensity of herbivory and that differences in insect herbivory could explain much of among-population variation in the proportion of plants flowering and seed production. Population differentiation in resistance to herbivory was limited. The results demonstrate that the intensity of herbivory is a major determinant of flowering and seed output in L. salicaria, but that differences in herbivory are not associated with differences in plant resistance at the spatial scale examined. They further suggest that the physical disturbance regime may strongly influence the performance and abundance of perennial herbs not only because of its effect on interspecific competition, but also because of effects on interactions with specialized herbivores.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 180, no 4, 1159-1171 p.
Keyword [en]
Disturbance gradient, Flowering, Plant-herbivore interactions, Plant resistance, Seed production
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Ecological Botany
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-247086DOI: 10.1007/s00442-015-3520-2ISI: 000373186100022PubMedID: 26678991OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-247086DiVA: diva2:794859
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

Erratum in: OECOLOGIA 180(4), pg. 1173-1174. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-016-3570-0

Available from: 2015-03-13 Created: 2015-03-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Herbivory in the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Herbivory in the Perennial Herb Lythrum salicaria
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, I combined field, common-garden and greenhouse experiments to examine the ecological and evolutionary consequences of plant-herbivore interactions in the perennial herb Lythrum salicaria. More specifically I examined (1) whether resistance and tolerance to damage from herbivores vary with latitude and are positively related to the intensity of herbivory in natural populations, (2) whether effects of herbivory on plant fitness vary with latitude, (3) whether populations are locally adapted and whether herbivory influences the relative fitness of populations, and (4) whether the intensity and effects of insect herbivory on reproductive output vary locally along a disturbance gradient and are associated with differences in plant resistance.

A common-garden and a greenhouse experiment demonstrated that plant resistance decreased whereas plant tolerance increased with latitude of origin among populations sampled along a latitudinal gradient in Sweden. Oviposition and feeding preference in the greenhouse and leaf damage in the common-garden experiment were negatively related to natural damage in the source populations.

Experimental removal of insect herbivores in three populations sampled along the latitudinal gradient demonstrated that intensity of herbivory and its effects on plant fitness decreased towards the north. A reciprocal transplant experiment among the same three populations showed that herbivory affected the relative fitness of the three populations, but did not detect any evidence of local adaptation. Instead the southernmost population had the highest relative fitness at all three sites.

A herbivore-removal experiment conducted in nine populations in an archipelago in northern Sweden demonstrated that insect herbivory strongly influenced among-population variation in reproductive output. However, variation in resistance was not related to differences in intensity of herbivory at this spatial scale.

Taken together, the results demonstrate that resistance and tolerance to herbivory vary with latitude but in opposite directions, that intensity of herbivory is a major determinant of flowering and seed output, and that the strength of herbivore-mediated selection varies among populations in Lythrum salicaria. They further indicate that both physical disturbance regime and latitudinal variation in abiotic conditions may strongly influence the performance and abundance of perennial herbs because of their effects on interactions with specialized herbivores.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 37 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1238
Keyword
Disturbance gradient, Female reproductive success, Galerucella calmariensis, Galerucella pusilla, Herbivore removal, Latitudinal gradient, Local adaptation, Nanophyes marmoratus, Plant-herbivore interactions, Plant size, Resistance to herbivory, Tolerance to damage
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Ecological Botany
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-247088 (URN)978-91-554-9196-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-08, Zootissalen, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-04-17 Created: 2015-03-13 Last updated: 2015-07-07

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Lehndal, LinaÅgren, Jon

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