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Spatial and temporal patterns of a pulsed resource dynamically drive the distribution of specialist herbivores

Abstract : Patterns and drivers of the spatio-temporal distribution of herbivores are key elements of their ecological and evolutionary impacts on plant populations. Herbivore spatial distributions may be influenced by increased (RCH: resource concentration hypothesis) or decreased (RDH: resource dilution hypothesis) resource densities, but the effect of temporal variations in resource densities on such distributions remains poorly documented. We used a survey of a masting tree species and its seed predators in Southeastern France to address the effect of a host’s pulsed resource on the spatio-temporal distributions of highly specialized insect herbivores feeding on seeds. Variations in both resource and seed predator densities were assessed by estimating seed production and seed infestation rates in focus trees during 10 consecutive years. We found increasing seed infestation rates with decreasing host tree densities in years of low seed production, indicating a RDH pattern of seed predators. However, such pattern was not persistent in years of high seed production during which seed infestation rates did not depend on host tree densities. We showed that temporal variations in resource density can lead to transience of seed predator spatial distribution. This study highlights how predictions of plant-herbivore interactions in natural ecosystems may rely on temporal components underlying RCH and RDH hypotheses.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02622349
Déposant : Migration Prodinra <>
Soumis le : mardi 26 mai 2020 - 05:24:15
Dernière modification le : mercredi 16 décembre 2020 - 14:22:03

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Violette Doublet, Cindy Gidoin, Francois Lefevre, Thomas Boivin. Spatial and temporal patterns of a pulsed resource dynamically drive the distribution of specialist herbivores. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9 (1), 12 p. ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-54297-6⟩. ⟨hal-02622349⟩

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