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Community structure of insect herbivores is driven by conservatism, escalation and divergence of defensive traits in Ficus

Volf, Martin; Segar, Simon T.; Miller, Scott E.; Isua, Brus; Sisol, Mentap; Aubona, Gibson; Šimek, Petr; Moos, Martin; Laitila, Juuso and Kim, Jorma, et al. (2018) In Ecology Letters 21(1). p.83-92
Abstract

Escalation (macroevolutionary increase) or divergence (disparity between relatives) in trait values are two frequent outcomes of the plant-herbivore arms race. We studied the defences and caterpillars associated with 21 sympatric New Guinean figs. Herbivore generalists were concentrated on hosts with low protease and oxidative activity. The distribution of specialists correlated with phylogeny, protease and trichomes. Additionally, highly specialised Asota moths used alkaloid rich plants. The evolution of proteases was conserved, alkaloid diversity has escalated across the studied species, oxidative activity has escalated within one clade, and trichomes have diverged across the phylogeny. Herbivore specificity correlated with their... (More)

Escalation (macroevolutionary increase) or divergence (disparity between relatives) in trait values are two frequent outcomes of the plant-herbivore arms race. We studied the defences and caterpillars associated with 21 sympatric New Guinean figs. Herbivore generalists were concentrated on hosts with low protease and oxidative activity. The distribution of specialists correlated with phylogeny, protease and trichomes. Additionally, highly specialised Asota moths used alkaloid rich plants. The evolution of proteases was conserved, alkaloid diversity has escalated across the studied species, oxidative activity has escalated within one clade, and trichomes have diverged across the phylogeny. Herbivore specificity correlated with their response to host defences: escalating traits largely affected generalists and divergent traits specialists; but the effect of escalating traits on extreme specialists was positive. In turn, the evolution of defences in Ficus can be driven towards both escalation and divergence in individual traits, in combination providing protection against a broad spectrum of herbivores.

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publication status
published
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keywords
Alkaloids, Choreutidae, Coevolution, Cysteine protease, Herbivore, Lepidoptera, New Guinea, Polyphenols, Pyraloidea, Trichomes
in
Ecology Letters
volume
21
issue
1
pages
83 - 92
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • scopus:85034222688
  • wos:000418133700009
ISSN
1461-023X
DOI
10.1111/ele.12875
language
English
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yes
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22a0e58c-fddc-45a0-84b1-ea89fb936ab2
date added to LUP
2017-12-11 14:09:14
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2018-04-29 04:44:14
@article{22a0e58c-fddc-45a0-84b1-ea89fb936ab2,
  abstract     = {<p>Escalation (macroevolutionary increase) or divergence (disparity between relatives) in trait values are two frequent outcomes of the plant-herbivore arms race. We studied the defences and caterpillars associated with 21 sympatric New Guinean figs. Herbivore generalists were concentrated on hosts with low protease and oxidative activity. The distribution of specialists correlated with phylogeny, protease and trichomes. Additionally, highly specialised Asota moths used alkaloid rich plants. The evolution of proteases was conserved, alkaloid diversity has escalated across the studied species, oxidative activity has escalated within one clade, and trichomes have diverged across the phylogeny. Herbivore specificity correlated with their response to host defences: escalating traits largely affected generalists and divergent traits specialists; but the effect of escalating traits on extreme specialists was positive. In turn, the evolution of defences in Ficus can be driven towards both escalation and divergence in individual traits, in combination providing protection against a broad spectrum of herbivores.</p>},
  author       = {Volf, Martin and Segar, Simon T. and Miller, Scott E. and Isua, Brus and Sisol, Mentap and Aubona, Gibson and Šimek, Petr and Moos, Martin and Laitila, Juuso and Kim, Jorma and Zima, Jan and Rota, Jadranka and Weiblen, George D. and Wossa, Stewart and Salminen, Juha Pekka and Basset, Yves and Novotny, Vojtech},
  issn         = {1461-023X},
  keyword      = {Alkaloids,Choreutidae,Coevolution,Cysteine protease,Herbivore,Lepidoptera,New Guinea,Polyphenols,Pyraloidea,Trichomes},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {83--92},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Ecology Letters},
  title        = {Community structure of insect herbivores is driven by conservatism, escalation and divergence of defensive traits in Ficus},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.12875},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2018},
}