Oecologia

, Volume 158, Issue 1, pp 65–75 | Cite as

Disparate effects of plant genotypic diversity on foliage and litter arthropod communities

  • Gregory M. Crutsinger
  • W. Nicholas Reynolds
  • Aimée T. Classen
  • Nathan J. Sanders
Plant-Animal Interactions - Original Paper

Abstract

Intraspecific diversity can influence the structure of associated communities, though whether litter-based and foliage-based arthropod communities respond to intraspecific diversity in similar ways remains unclear. In this study, we compared the effects of host-plant genotype and genotypic diversity of the perennial plant, Solidago altissima, on the arthropod community associated with living plant tissue (foliage-based community) and microarthropods associated with leaf litter (litter-based community). We found that variation among host-plant genotypes had strong effects on the diversity and composition of foliage-based arthropods, but only weak effects on litter-based microarthropods. Furthermore, host-plant genotypic diversity was positively related to the abundance and diversity of foliage-based arthropods, and within the herbivore and predator trophic levels. In contrast, there were minimal effects of plant genotypic diversity on litter-based microarthropods in any trophic level. Our study illustrates that incorporating communities associated with living foliage and senesced litter into studies of community genetics can lead to very different conclusions about the importance of intraspecific diversity than when only foliage-based community responses are considered in isolation.

Keywords

Community genetics Herbivores Leaf litter Microarthropods Solidago altissima 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank K. Crawford, M. Genung, M. Habenicht, J. Ledford, and L. Zachmann for help with field and laboratory work. E. Bernard assisted with microarthropod identification. P. Kardol and T. Sackett provided helpful comments on the manuscript. G. M. C. was supported by an EPA STAR, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and funds from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee. The Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT-Battelle, LLC, for the US Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC05-00OR22725 and the Office of Science (Biological and Environmental Research), US Department of Energy, grant no. DE-FG02-02ER63366 supported A. T. C. and some of the work on this project.

Supplementary material

442_2008_1130_MOESM1_ESM.doc (363 kb)
Supplementary material (DOC 242 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory M. Crutsinger
    • 1
  • W. Nicholas Reynolds
    • 2
  • Aimée T. Classen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Nathan J. Sanders
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Entomology and Plant Pathology DepartmentUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA
  3. 3.Environmental Science DivisionOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

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