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Conference abstract2009Peer reviewed

Predictable evolution of plant defense on uplift islands

Stenberg; Johan, A


Background/Question/Methods When blank patches are uncovered to neighboring ecological communities they are often colonized by plants, herbivores, and carnivores in a highly predictable temporal order, which is the case in species-poor Bothnian land-uplift archipelagos. This implies that colonizing plants first will experience a time window of herbivore-free space, selecting for reduced resistance in favor of growth, followed by a time period of strong herbivory selecting for increased resistance at the expense of growth. To demonstrate this phenomenon I used an archipelago where young islands early become suitable for establishment of the perennial herb Meadowsweet, while selective leaf beetles cannot establish until the islands reach such a height (age) that the beetles are not washed away from their overwintering sites. Results/Conclusions I show that the mean phenotypic resistance against leaf beetles increases with island age, corresponding to the fitness reduction selectively imposed on susceptible host plants during historic herbivory. I further show that the raised resistance on old islands complicates the lives of the beetles which gradually become more prone to utilize a less suitable alternative host-plant species. These results demonstrate the possibility to study evolutionary interactions in rising archipelagos

Published in


94th ESA Annual Meeting

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Landscape Architecture
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

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