Advertisement

Oecologia

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 580–584 | Cite as

A comparison of the responses of two tropical specialist herbivores to host plant patch size

  • Catherine E. Bach
Original Papers

Summary

The effects of host plant patch size on the abundances of two specialist herbivores (the chrysomelid beetle, Acalymma innubum and the pentatomid bug, Piezosternum subulatum) were investigated in a natural forest community in the Virgin Islands. Abundances were compared early and late in the season in different sized patches of the cucurbit host plant (Cayaponia americana) growing in open habitat (with no surrounding plant community) and forest habitat (with diverse surrounding plant community). For both herbivore species, adult abundances per patch were positively correlated with patch leaf area, but there was a significant patch size effect (i.e., correlation between herbivore density per unit plant and patch leaf area) only for beetles in the forest habitat. Both herbivore species were significantly affected by surrounding plant diversity, but in opposite ways: beetles were more abundant in open patches whereas bugs were more abundant in forest patches. Relationships between abundance and patch size in open and forest patches changed through the season for both herbivore species. These changing abundance patterns are discussed with respect to (1) increases in the diversity of the plant community surrounding host plant patches, and (2) differences in herbivore movement patterns.

Keywords

Patch Size Forest Patch Forest Habitat Herbivore Species Specialist Herbivore 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bach CE (1980a) Effects of plant diversity and time of colonization on an herbivore-plant interaction. Oecologia (Berlin) 44:319–326Google Scholar
  2. Bach CE (1980b) Effects of plant density and diversity on the population dynamics of a specialist herbivore, the striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittata (Fab.). Ecology 61:1515–1530Google Scholar
  3. Bach CE (1984) Plant spatial pattern and herbivore population dynamics: plant factors affecting the movement patterns of a tropical cucurbit specialist (Acalymma innubum). Ecology 65:175–190Google Scholar
  4. Cromartie WJ (1975) The effect of stand size and vegetational background on the colonization of cruciferous plants by herbivorous insects. J Appl Ecol 12:517–533Google Scholar
  5. Goodchild AJP (1967) Shield bug (Piezosternum calidum Fab.) infestation of oyster nut. Afr Ag For J 33:192–196Google Scholar
  6. Kareiva P (1981) Non-migratory movement and the distribution of herbivorous insects: experiments with plant spacing and the application of diffusion models to mark-recapture data. Ph.D. Dissertation. Cornell University, Ithaca, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Kareiva P (1983) Influence of vegetation texture on herbivore populations: resource concentration and herbivore movement. In: Denno RF, McClure MS (eds) Variable plants and herbivores in natural and managed systems. Academic Press, New York, pp 259–289Google Scholar
  8. MacGarvin M (1982) Species-area relationships of insects on host plants: herbivores on rosebay willowherb. J Anim Ecol 51:207–223Google Scholar
  9. Maguire LA (1983) Influence of collard patch size on population densities of Lepidopteran pests (Lepidoptera: Pieridae, Pluttellidae). Environ Entomol 12:1415–1419Google Scholar
  10. Munroe DD, Smith RF (1980) A revision of the systematics of Acalymma sensu stricto Barber (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) from North America including Mexico. Mem Entomol Soc of Can 112Google Scholar
  11. Ralph CP (1977) Effect of host plant density on populations of a specialized, seed-sucking bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus. Ecology 58:799–809Google Scholar
  12. Raupp MJ, Denno RF (1979) The influence of patch size on a guild of sap-feeding insects that inhabit the salt marsh grass Spartina patens. Environ Entomol 8:412–417Google Scholar
  13. Rausher M (1981) The effect of native vegetation on the susceptibility of Aristolochia reticulata (Aristolochiaceae) to herbivore attack. Ecology 62:1187–1195Google Scholar
  14. Risch S, Altieri M, Andow D (1983) Agroecosystem diversity and pest control: data, tentative conclusions, and new research directions. Environ Entomol 12:625–629Google Scholar
  15. Root RB (1973) Organization of a plant-arthropod association in simple and diverse habitats: the fauna of collards (Brassica oleracea). Ecol Monogr 43:95–124Google Scholar
  16. Smith R, Whittaker J (1980) The influence of habitat type on the population dynamics of Gastrophysa viridula Degeer (Coleptera: Chrysomelidae). J Anim Ecol 49:225–236Google Scholar
  17. Stanton ML (1983) Spatial patterns in the plant community and their effects upon insect search. In: Ahmad S (ed) Herbivorous insects: host-seeking behavior and mechanisms. Academic Press, New York, pp 125–157Google Scholar
  18. Thompson J (1978) Within patch structure and dynamics in Pastinaca sativa and resource availability to a specialized herbivore. Ecology 59:443–448Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine E. Bach
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations