The functional resource of a gall-forming adelgid

P. A. Fay, R. W. Preszler, T. G. Whitham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interactions among shoots within plant modules could allow gall-insects to acquire resources from other plant parts near the feeding sites. As a result, nearby plant parts may act as a "functional resource", or extended resource base. We tested for functional interconnections between galls and adjacent ungalled shoots in Adelges cooleyi Gil. (Homoptera: Adelgidae) on Picea engelmanni, Engelmann spruce. Observations of gall and surrounding shoot weights showed that gall weights were twice normal shoot weights, but that surrounding shoot weights were unaffected. Reducing photosynthate availability by covering galls or surrounding shoots with opaque cloth suggested that functional interconnections exist among them; covering galls reduced surrounding current-year ungalled shoot weight, and covering surrounding shoots reduced their weight even further, bu neither covering treatment affected gall or gall-insect weight. These patterns suggest that surrounding shoots constitute an extended and flexibly utilized resource base for adelgid galls. Resources made available via functional interconnections appeared to be equally available throughout adelgid galls. No differences were found in gall-insect performance in parts of the gall closer to connections with surrounding shoots compared to more distantly-located gall-insects. Further studies are required to examine patterns of resource movement among unmanipulated galls and shoots. Functional resources may be common features of plant/gall-insect interactions, potentially playing an important role in gall-insect reproductive success and habitat selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
JournalOecologia
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 1996

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Keywords

  • Adelges cooleyi
  • Gall-insect
  • Picea engelmanni
  • Plant modular structure
  • Resource availability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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