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Host-plant availability drives the spatiotemporal dynamics of interacting metapopulations across a fragmented landscape

Opedal, Øystein H. LU ; Ovaskainen, Otso ; Saastamoinen, Marjo ; Laine, Anna Liisa and van Nouhuys, Saskya (2020) In Ecology 101(12).
Abstract

The dynamics of ecological communities depend partly on species interactions within and among trophic levels. Experimental work has demonstrated the impact of species interactions on the species involved, but it remains unclear whether these effects can also be detected in long-term time series across heterogeneous landscapes. We analyzed a 19-year time series of patch occupancy by the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia, its specialist parasitoid wasp Cotesia melitaearum, and the specialist fungal pathogen Podosphaera plantaginis infecting Plantago lanceolata, a host plant of the Glanville fritillary. These species share a network of more than 4,000 habitat patches in the Åland islands, providing a metacommunity data set of... (More)

The dynamics of ecological communities depend partly on species interactions within and among trophic levels. Experimental work has demonstrated the impact of species interactions on the species involved, but it remains unclear whether these effects can also be detected in long-term time series across heterogeneous landscapes. We analyzed a 19-year time series of patch occupancy by the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia, its specialist parasitoid wasp Cotesia melitaearum, and the specialist fungal pathogen Podosphaera plantaginis infecting Plantago lanceolata, a host plant of the Glanville fritillary. These species share a network of more than 4,000 habitat patches in the Åland islands, providing a metacommunity data set of unique spatial and temporal resolution. To assess the influence of interactions among the butterfly, parasitoid, and mildew on metacommunity dynamics, we modeled local colonization and extinction rates of each species while including or excluding the presence of potentially interacting species in the previous year as predictors. The metapopulation dynamics of all focal species varied both along a gradient in host plant abundance, and spatially as indicated by strong effects of local connectivity. Colonization and to a lesser extent extinction rates depended also on the presence of interacting species within patches. However, the directions of most effects differed from expectations based on previous experimental and modeling work, and the inferred influence of species interactions on observed metacommunity dynamics was limited. These results suggest that although local interactions among the butterfly, parasitoid, and mildew occur, their roles in metacommunity spatiotemporal dynamics are relatively weak. Instead, all species respond to variation in plant abundance, which may in turn fluctuate in response to variation in climate, land use, or other environmental factors.

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author
; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
metacommunity dynamics, multitrophic interactions, null model, plant–animal interactions, spatiotemporal dynamics, tripartite interactions
in
Ecology
volume
101
issue
12
article number
e03186
pages
16 pages
publisher
Ecological Society of America
external identifiers
  • scopus:85092165780
  • pmid:32892363
ISSN
0012-9658
DOI
10.1002/ecy.3186
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9899a0dd-11af-4df9-99a6-0e20e164d38b
date added to LUP
2020-10-16 12:55:07
date last changed
2021-01-16 03:00:33
@article{9899a0dd-11af-4df9-99a6-0e20e164d38b,
  abstract     = {<p>The dynamics of ecological communities depend partly on species interactions within and among trophic levels. Experimental work has demonstrated the impact of species interactions on the species involved, but it remains unclear whether these effects can also be detected in long-term time series across heterogeneous landscapes. We analyzed a 19-year time series of patch occupancy by the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia, its specialist parasitoid wasp Cotesia melitaearum, and the specialist fungal pathogen Podosphaera plantaginis infecting Plantago lanceolata, a host plant of the Glanville fritillary. These species share a network of more than 4,000 habitat patches in the Åland islands, providing a metacommunity data set of unique spatial and temporal resolution. To assess the influence of interactions among the butterfly, parasitoid, and mildew on metacommunity dynamics, we modeled local colonization and extinction rates of each species while including or excluding the presence of potentially interacting species in the previous year as predictors. The metapopulation dynamics of all focal species varied both along a gradient in host plant abundance, and spatially as indicated by strong effects of local connectivity. Colonization and to a lesser extent extinction rates depended also on the presence of interacting species within patches. However, the directions of most effects differed from expectations based on previous experimental and modeling work, and the inferred influence of species interactions on observed metacommunity dynamics was limited. These results suggest that although local interactions among the butterfly, parasitoid, and mildew occur, their roles in metacommunity spatiotemporal dynamics are relatively weak. Instead, all species respond to variation in plant abundance, which may in turn fluctuate in response to variation in climate, land use, or other environmental factors.</p>},
  author       = {Opedal, Øystein H. and Ovaskainen, Otso and Saastamoinen, Marjo and Laine, Anna Liisa and van Nouhuys, Saskya},
  issn         = {0012-9658},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  publisher    = {Ecological Society of America},
  series       = {Ecology},
  title        = {Host-plant availability drives the spatiotemporal dynamics of interacting metapopulations across a fragmented landscape},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3186},
  doi          = {10.1002/ecy.3186},
  volume       = {101},
  year         = {2020},
}