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Intraspecific difference among herbivore lineages and their host-plant specialization drive the strength of trophic cascades

Abstract : A bstract Trophic cascades—the indirect effect of predators on non-adjacent lower trophic levels—are important drivers of the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. However, the influence of intraspecific trait variation on the strength of trophic cascade remains largely unexplored, which limits our understanding of the mechanisms underlying ecological networks. Here we experimentally investigated how intraspecific difference among herbivore lineages specialized on different host plants influences the strength of trophic cascade in a terrestrial tritrophic system. We found that the occurrence and strength of the trophic cascade are strongly influenced by herbivores’ lineage and host-plant specialization but are not associated with density-dependent effects mediated by the growth rate of herbivore populations. Our findings stress the importance of intraspecific heterogeneities and evolutionary specialization as drivers of the strength of trophic cascades and underline that intraspecific variation should not be overlooked to decipher the joint influence of evolutionary and ecological factors on the functioning of multi-trophic interactions.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03346858
Contributor : Arnaud Sentis Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 4:30:30 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 6:29:30 AM

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Arnaud Sentis, Raphaël Bertram, Nathalie Dardenne, Jean-Christophe Simon, Alexandra Magro, et al.. Intraspecific difference among herbivore lineages and their host-plant specialization drive the strength of trophic cascades. 2021. ⟨hal-03346858⟩

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