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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Are exotic host plants a life raft or a trap for butterflies?

Braga, Mariana P.


Many landscapes across the world are dominated by exotic (non-native) plant species. These plants can directly impact native species, including insect herbivores. There are many reported cases of native butterfly species using exotic host plants, and these new interactions have had diverse effects on butterfly populations. In this mini-review, I highlight recent developments in the study of the effects of exotic host plants on butterflies, focusing on two areas that have seen major advances: the genetic basis of host use and the influence of other trophic levels on butterfly-plant interactions. Understanding how these multiple factors interact is a key outstanding question for better predicting if an exotic plant might be a trap or a life raft for a herbivorous insect.

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Current Opinion in Insect Science
2023, Volume: 58, article number: 101074
Publisher: ELSEVIER

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