Biological Invasions

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 2639–2651 | Cite as

Potential for host shifting in Papilio palamedes following invasion of laurel wilt disease

Original Paper


In the southeastern US, laurel wilt disease (LWD) is causing widespread mortality of species in the Lauraceae. The principal target, Persea borbonia, is the primary larval host of Papilio palamedes, which is known to feed on other Lauraceae species. Among these potential hosts, the exotic Cinnamomum camphora is the only species that has shown resistance to LWD. We hypothesized that oviposition preference for C. camphora and P. borbonia would correspond to larval performances on these species and that the relative host suitability of C. camphora would indicate an opportunity for host-switching. We used laboratory experiments and field observations to compare performance and preference of P. palamedes between C. camphora and P. borbonia foliage. Our results indicate moderate survivorship on C. camphora compared to P. borbonia and no differences in first and fourth instar growth rates between treatments. Fourth instars consumed relatively less of C. camphora foliage compared to that of P. borbonia, but metabolic efficiency did not differ between treatments. Rearing on the foliage of P. borbonia stump sprouts from LWD-infected trees resulted in significantly higher growth rates and metabolic efficiency as first and fourth instars, respectively. In the field and laboratory, we found no oviposition preference for C. camphora. While females laid eggs on C. camphora during laboratory trials, the same number of eggs was also laid on inanimate objects. We conclude that C. camphora is suitable for larval development but host-switching to this species by P. palamedes will be primarily constrained by the ecological factors that govern oviposition behaviors.


Cinnamomum camphora Host shifting Laurel wilt disease Papilio palamedes Persea borbonia Preference-performance relationship 



This research was conducted in the National Estuarine Reserve System under a Graduate Research Fellowship award from the Estuarine Reserves Division, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We would like to thank Dr. Mark Woodrey and Will Underwood for their help in planning and coordinating activities at Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. We would also like to thank Graham Baker for his help in the laboratory.


  1. Agosta SJ (2006) On ecological fitting, plant-insect associations, herbivore host shifts, and host plant selection. Oikos 114:556–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agosta SJ, Klemens JK (2008) Ecological fitting by phenotypically flexible genotypes: implications for species associations, community assembly and evolution. Ecol Lett 11:1123–1134PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Agosta SJ, Janz N, Brooks DR (2010) How specialists can be generalists: resolving the “parasite paradox” and implications for emerging infectious disease. Zoologia 27:151–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anagnostakis SL (1987) Chestnut blight: the classical problem of an introduced pathogen. Mycologia 79:23–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ayres P, Scriber JM (1994) Local adaptation to regional climates in Papilio canadensis (Lepidoptera: Pailionidae). Ecol Monogr 64:465–482Google Scholar
  6. Barton E, Koricheva J (2010) The ontogeny of plant defense and herbivory: characterizing general patterns using meta-analysis. Am Nat 175:481–493PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Battaglia LL, Denslow JS, Inczauskis JR, Baer SG (2009) Effects of native vegetation on invasion success of Chinese tallow in a floating marsh ecosystem. J Ecol 97:239–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brendemuehl RH (1990) Persea borbonia (L.) Spreng. Redbay. In: Burns RM, Honkala LH (technical coordinators). Silvics of North America, 2nd Vol. Hardwoods Agric Handb 654. US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, pp 503–506Google Scholar
  9. Brooks JC (1962) Foodplants of Papilio palamedes in Georgia. J Lepidopterists Soc 16:198Google Scholar
  10. Chanderbali AS, van der Werff H, Renner SS (2001) Phylogeny and historical biogeography of Lauraceae: evidence from the chloroplast and nuclear genomes. Ann Mo Bot Gard 88:104–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clavel J, Julliard R, Devictor V (2011) Worldwide decline of specialist species: toward a global functional homogenization? Front Ecol Environ 9:222–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Colles A, Liow LH, Prinzing A (2009) Are specialists at risk under environmental change? Neoecological, paleoecological and phylogenetic approaches. Ecol Lett 12:849–863PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cunningham JP, West SA, Zalucki MP (2001) Host selection in phytophagous insects: a new explanation for learning in adults. Oikos 95:537–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Damman H (1987) Leaf quality and enemy avoidance by the larvae of a pyralid moth. Ecol 68:88–97sCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Evans JP, Scheffers BR, Hess M (2013) Effect of laurel wilt invasion on redbay populations in a maritime forest community. Biol Invasions. doi: 10.1007/s10530-013-0592-y
  16. Feeny P (1976) Plant apparency and chemical defense. Rec Adv Phy 10:1–40Google Scholar
  17. Forister ML, Wilson JS (2013) The population ecology of novel plant-herbivore interactions. Oikos 122:657–666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fox CW, Lalonde RG (1993) Host confusion and the evolution of insect diet breadths. Oikos 67:577–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fraedrich SW, Harrington TC, Rabaglia RJ, Ulyshen MD, Mayfield AE, Hanula JL, Eickwort JM, Miller DR (2008) A fungal symbiont of the redbay ambrosia beetle causes a lethal wilt in redbay and other Lauraceae in the southeastern United States. Plant Dis 92:215–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fraedrich SW, Harrington TC, Best GS (in press) Xyleborus glabratus attacks and systemic colonization by Raffaelea lauricola associated with dieback of Cinnamomum camphora in the southeastern United States. For PatholGoogle Scholar
  21. Fukui A, Murakami M, Konno K, Nakamura M, Ohgushi T (2002) A leaf-rolling caterpillar improves leaf quality. Entomol Sci 5:263–266Google Scholar
  22. Gandhi KJK, Herms DA (2010) Direct and indirect effects of alien insect herbivores on ecological processes and interactions in forests of eastern North America. Biol Invasions 12:389–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gillespie M, Wratten SD (2011) Oviposition preference of Lycaena salustius for, and larval performance on, a novel host plant: an example of ecological fitting. Ecol Entomol 36:616–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goodrum PD (1977) Redbay/Persea borbonia (L.) Spreng, in Southern fruit-producing, woody plants used by wildlife. General Technical Report SO-16. USDA Forest Service, New Orleans, p 65Google Scholar
  25. Gripenberg S, Mayhew PJ, Parnell M, Roslin T (2010) A meta-analysis of preference-performance relationships in phytophagous insects. Ecol Lett 13:383–393PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Haack RA, Jendak E, Houping L, Marchant KR, Petrice TR, Poland TM, Ye H (2002) The emerald ash borer: a new exotic pest in North America. Newsl Mich Entomol Soc 47:1–5Google Scholar
  27. Harvey JA, Biere A, Fortuna T, Vet LEM, Engelkes T, Morrien E, Gols R, Verhoeven K, Vogel H, Macel M, Heidel-Fischer HM, Schramm K, van der Putten WH (2010) Ecological fits, mis-fits, and lotteries involving insect herbivores on the invasive plant, Bunias orientalis. Biol Invasions 12:3045–3059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hobbs RJ (2000) Land-use changes and invasions. In: Mooney HA, Hobbs RJ (eds) Invasive species in a changing world. Island, Washington, DC, pp 55–64Google Scholar
  29. Honek A (1993) Intraspecific variation in body size and fecundity in insects: a general relationship. Oikos 66:483–492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jaenike J (1978) Optimal oviposition behavior in phytophagous insects. Theor Popul Biol 14:350–356PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Janzen DH (1980) When is it coevolution? Evol 34:611–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Janzen DH (1985) On ecological fitting. Oikos 45:308–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Karowe DN (1990) Predicting host range evolution: colonization of Coronilla varia by Colias philodice (Lepidoptera: Pieridae). Evolution 44:1637–1647CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Keeler MS, Chew FS (2008) Escaping an evolutionary trap: preference and performance of a native insect on an exotic invasive host. Oecologia 156:559–568PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Landers JL, Hamilton RJ, Johnson AS, Marchinton RL (1979) Foods and habitat of black bears in southeastern North Carolina. J Wildl Manag 43:143–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Langeland KA, Craddock Burks K (1998) Identification and biology of non-native plants in Florida’s natural areas. IFAS Publication SP 257 University of Florida, Gainesville, p 165Google Scholar
  37. Larsson S, Ekbom B (1995) Oviposition mistakes in herbivorous insects: confusion or a step towards a new host giant. Oikos 72:155–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lederhouse RC, Ayers MP, Nitao JK, Scriber JM (1992) Differential use of lauraceous hosts by swallowtail butterflies, Papilio troilus and P. palamedes (Papilionidae). Oikos 63:244–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Leege LM (2006) The relationship between psyllid leaf galls and redbay (Persea borbonia) fitness traits in sun and shade. Plant Ecol 184:203–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Levesque KR, Fortin M, Mauffette Y (2002) Temperature and food quality effects on growth, consumption and post-ingestive utilization efficiencies of the forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae). Bull Entomol Res 92:127–136Google Scholar
  41. Lewis OT, Thomas CD (2001) Adaptations to captivity in the butterfly Pieris brassicae (L.) and the implications for ex situ conservation. J Insect Conserv 5:55–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mayfield AE III (2008) Laurel wilt. Forest and shade tree pests leaflet number 13. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry, Gainsville, FLGoogle Scholar
  43. McKinney ML (1997) Extinction vulnerability and selectivity: combining ecological and paleontological views. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 28:495–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Morris MW (1989) Papilio troilus L. on a new and rare larval food plant. J Lepidopterist’s Soc 43:147Google Scholar
  45. Murakami M (1999) Effect of avian predation on survival of leaf-rolling lepidopterous larvae. Res Popul Ecol 41:135–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nakajima M, Boggs CL, Bailey S, Reithel J, Paape T (2013) Fitness costs of butterfly oviposition on a lethal non-native plant in a mixed native and non-native plant community. Oecologia 172:823–832PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Orwig DA, Foster DR (1998) Forest response to the introduced hemlock woolly adelgid in southern New England, USA. J Torrey Bot Soc 125:60–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pearse IS, Altermatt F (2013) Predicting novel trophic interactions in a non-native world. Ecol Lett 16:1088–1094PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Pearse IS, Harris DJ, Karban R, Sih A (2013) Predicting novel herbivore-plant interactions. Oikos 122:1554–1564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rausher MD (1985) Variability for host preference in insect populations: mechanistic and evolutionary models. J Insect Physiol 31:873–889CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Renne IJ, Barrow WC Jr, Johnson Randall LA, Bridges WC Jr (2002) Generalized avian dispersal syndrome contributes to Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum, Euphorbiaceae) invasiveness. Divers Distrib 8:285–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rogers WE, Siemann E (2004) Invasive ecotypes tolerate herbivory more effectively than native ecotypes of the Chinese tallow tree Sapium sebiferum. J Appl Ecol 41:561–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. SAS Institute (2007) SAS version 9.2. SAS Institute, Cary, North Carolina, USAGoogle Scholar
  54. Schlaepfer MA, Sherman PW, Blossey B, Runge MC (2005) Introduced species as evolutionary traps. Ecol Lett 8:241–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Scriber JM (2004) Non-target impacts of forest defoliator management options: decision for no spraying may have worse impacts on non-target Lepidoptera than Bacillus thuringiensis insecticides. J Insect Conserv 8:241–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Scriber JM, Lederhouse RC (1983) Temperature as a factor in the development and feeding ecology of tiger swallowtail caterpillars, Papilio glaucus (Lepidoptera). Oikos 40:95–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Scriber JM, Lederhouse RC, Hagen RH (1991) Foodplants and evolution within Papilio glaucus and Papilio troilus species groups (Lepidoptera:Papilionidae). In: Price PW, Lewinsohn TM, Fernandes GW, Benson WW (eds) Plant-animal interactions: evolutionary ecology in tropical and temperate regions. Wiley, New York, pp 341–373Google Scholar
  58. Scriber JM, Allen GR, Walker PW (2006) Ecological monophagy in Tasmanian Graphium macleayanum moggana with evolutionary reflections of ancient Angiosperm hosts. Insect Sci 13:325–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Scriber JM, Larsen ML, Zalucki MP (2007) Papilio aegeus Donovan (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) host plant range evaluated experimentally on ancient Angiosperms. Aust J Entomol 46:65–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Scriber JM, Larsen ML, Allen GR, Walker PW, Zalucki MP (2008a) Interactions between Papilionidae and ancient Australian Angiosperms: evolutionary specialization or ecological monophagy? Entomol Exp Appl 128:230–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Scriber JM, Larsen ML, Zalucki MP (2008b) Responses of North American Papilio Troilus and P. glaucus to potential hosts from Australia. J Lepidopterists Soc 62:18–30Google Scholar
  62. Siemann E, Rogers WE, Dewalt SJ (2006) Rapid adaptation of insect herbivores to an invasive plant. Proc Roy Soc B 273:2763–2769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sih A, Crowley P, McPeek M, Petranka J, Strohmeier K (1985) Predation, competition, and prey communities: a review of field experiments. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 16:269–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Simberloff D, Von Holle B (1999) Positive interactions of nonindigenous species: invasional meltdown? Biol Invasions 1:21–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Slansky F (1992) Allelochemical-nutrient interactions in herbivore nutritional ecology. In: Rosenthal GA, Berenbaum MR (eds) Herbivores, their interactions with secondary plant metabolites Ecological and evolutionary processes, 2nd edn. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 135–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Smith JA, Mount L, Mayfield AE III, Bates CA, Lamborn WA, Fraedrich SW (2009) First report of laurel wilt disease caused by Raffaelea lauricola on camphor in Florida and Georgia. Plant Dis 93:198Google Scholar
  67. Spiegel KS, Leege LM (2013) Impacts of laurel wilt disease on redbay (Persea borbonia (L.) Spreng.) population structure and forest communities in the coastal plain of Georgia USA. Biol Invasions 15:2467–2487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Strong DR (1974) The insects of British trees–community equilibration in ecological time. Ann Mo Bot Gard 61:692–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Thompson JN (1988) Evolutionary ecology of the relationship between oviposition preference and performance of off- spring in phytophagous insects. Entomol Exp Appl 7:3–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. USDA, Forest Service (2013) Laurel wilt distribution map. Forest health protection, Southern Region. Accessed 10 Nov 2013
  71. USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) (2013) The plants database, plant profile: Cinnamomum campohra. National Plant Data Team. Accessed 19 Dec 2013
  72. Van Deelen TR (1991) Persea borbonia. In: Fire effects information system, [Online]. US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: 5 Nov 2010
  73. Wagner DL (2007) Emerald ash borer threatens ash-feeding Lepidoptera. News Lepidopterists’ Soc 49:10–11Google Scholar
  74. West SA, Cunningham JP (2002) A general model for host plant selection in phytophagous insects. J Theor Biol 214:499–513PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Work TT, McCullough DG (2000) Lepidoptera communities in two forest ecosystems during the first gypsy moth outbreaks in Northern Michigan. Environ Entomol 29:884–900Google Scholar
  76. Wunderlin RP, Hansen BF (2013) Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. Florida Center for Community Design and Research. Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida, Tampa. Accessed 19 Dec 2013
  77. Zamora R (2000) Functional equivalence in plant-animal interactions: ecological and evolutionary consequences. Oikos 88:442–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Biology and Center for EcologySouthern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

Personalised recommendations