Plant genetic determinants of arthropod community structure and diversity

Gina M. Wimp, Gregory D. Martinsen, Kevin D. Floate, Randy K. Bangert, Thomas G Whitham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

143 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To test the hypothesis that genes have extended phenotypes on the community, we quantified how genetic differences among cottonwoods affect the diversity, abundance, and composition of the dependent arthropod community. Over two years, five major patterns were observed in both field and common-garden studies that focused on two species of cottonwoods and their naturally occurring F1 and backcross hybrids (collectively referred to as four different cross types). We did not find overall significant differences in arthropod species richness or abundance among cottonwood cross types. We found significant differences in arthropod community composition among all cross types except backcross and narrowleaf cottonwoods. Thus, even though we found similar richness among cross types, the species that composed the community were significantly different. Using vector analysis, we found that the shift in arthropod community composition was correlated with percent Fremont alleles in the host plant, which suggests that the arthropod community responds to the underlying genetic differences among trees. We found 13 arthropod species representing different trophic levels that were significant indicators of the four different cross types. Even though arthropod communities changed in species composition from one year to the next, the overall patterns of community differences remained remarkably stable, suggesting that the genetic differences among cross types exert a strong organizing influence on the arthropod community. Together, these results support the extended phenotype concept. Few studies have observationally and experimentally shown that entire arthropod communities can be structured by genetic differences in their host plants. These findings contribute to the developing field of community genetics and suggest a strategy for conserving arthropod diversity by promoting genetic diversity in their host plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalEvolution
Volume59
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

Fingerprint

arthropod communities
plant genetics
Arthropods
arthropod
community structure
Populus
arthropods
host plants
host plant
Populus angustifolia
phenotype
species diversity
community composition
Phenotype
gardens
alleles
trophic level
garden
genetic variation
allele

Keywords

  • Community genetics
  • Composition
  • Extended phenotype
  • Hybrid
  • Populus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Ecology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Wimp, G. M., Martinsen, G. D., Floate, K. D., Bangert, R. K., & Whitham, T. G. (2005). Plant genetic determinants of arthropod community structure and diversity. Evolution, 59(1), 61-69.

Plant genetic determinants of arthropod community structure and diversity. / Wimp, Gina M.; Martinsen, Gregory D.; Floate, Kevin D.; Bangert, Randy K.; Whitham, Thomas G.

In: Evolution, Vol. 59, No. 1, 01.2005, p. 61-69.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wimp, GM, Martinsen, GD, Floate, KD, Bangert, RK & Whitham, TG 2005, 'Plant genetic determinants of arthropod community structure and diversity', Evolution, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 61-69.
Wimp GM, Martinsen GD, Floate KD, Bangert RK, Whitham TG. Plant genetic determinants of arthropod community structure and diversity. Evolution. 2005 Jan;59(1):61-69.
Wimp, Gina M. ; Martinsen, Gregory D. ; Floate, Kevin D. ; Bangert, Randy K. ; Whitham, Thomas G. / Plant genetic determinants of arthropod community structure and diversity. In: Evolution. 2005 ; Vol. 59, No. 1. pp. 61-69.
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