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Rôles fonctionnels et structurels de la biodiversité sur les communautés d'insectes et d’herbivorie associée : une approche expérimentale

Abstract : Functional and structural consequences of plant diversity on insect communities and herbivoryThe relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning remains a key issue in ecology. In particular it has been suggested that plant species diversity can trigger plant-insect interactions, ranging from associational resistance (higher herbivory in monocultures than in more diverse plant communities) to associational susceptibility (higher herbivory in plant mixtures). Although it is now widely acknowledged that associational resistance is more frequent than associational susceptibility, the underlying mechanisms are still debated and seem to depend on herbivore specialization and plant species identity. To contribute to this debate we addressed two questions: (1) What are the consequences of plant diversity for insect herbivore diversity? (2) Which component of plant diversity better accounts for herbivory? On the basis of a meta-analysis we show in this report that animal diversity significantly increase with increasing plant diversity, regardless of habitats or taxa. In arthropods, herbivores species richness increases more steeply with plant richness than predator richness. This result raises an apparent paradox: if herbivore diversity is positively correlated with plant diversity, why herbivory decreases with increasing plant diversity (associational resistance)? To solve this paradox we developed an experimental approach focused on pedunculate oak and based on the manipulation of tree genetic and species diversity. We showed that generalist and specialist herbivores respond differently to the two levels of tree diversity. Herbivory by generalist herbivores significantly increased with oak genetic diversity (i.e. associational susceptibility) while specialist herbivores did not respond to the genetic diversity of their host tree. Conversely, tree species diversity triggered associational resistance to specialist insect herbivores but had no effect on generalists. The novelty of this works also lies in the identification of a new mechanism that may account for associational resistance in tree species mixtures: host apparency. More apparent oak trees – those that are taller than their neighbours – are more prone to insect damage. Increasing tree species diversity comes together with higher probability of associating faster growing species (such as pine or birch) than can hide neighbouring oaks, reducing their apparency and then their susceptibility. Our findings suggest that accounting for the diet breadth of insect herbivores and the different components of tree diversity can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms leading to associational resistance or susceptibility in mixed forests.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02810519, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 188119



Bastien Castagneyrol. Rôles fonctionnels et structurels de la biodiversité sur les communautés d'insectes et d’herbivorie associée : une approche expérimentale. Sciences du Vivant [q-bio]. Université des Sciences et Technologies (Bordeaux 1), 2012. Français. ⟨tel-02810519⟩



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