Predicting the outcome of potential novel associations: interactions between the invasive Vincetoxicum rossicum and native western Chrysochus beetles

Abstract

Understanding the potential outcomes of interactions between native insects and invasive plants is important for predicting the magnitude of effects caused by an invader in its new environment. Here, we investigate the ability of the native western leaf beetle, Chrysochus cobaltinus, and a hybrid of North American Chrysochus species, (hybrid of eastern C. auratus and western C. cobaltinus) to initiate a novel association with introduced pale swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum) (Apocynaceae). This European vine is invasive in eastern North America but has not yet been encountered by C. cobaltinus in the field. Lab tests demonstrate that C. cobaltinus can feed on introduced V. rossicum foliage, and that they are not locally-specialized to hosts from which they were collected. Thus, adult C. cobaltinus may use V. rossicum as a transient host when encountered in the field. Chrysochus hybrids were unable to feed on introduced V. rossicum (similar to their C. auratus parents) but did feed on native North American Asclepias spp. (similar to their C. cobaltinus parents). Hybridization and subsequent gene introgression may explain both decreased feeding by western C. cobaltinus and increased feeding by eastern C. auratus on native Asclepias spp. in this region, but does not appear to affect feeding on V. rossicum. We predict the potential novel association between native C. cobaltinus and invasive V. rossicum will have a positive or neutral outcome for the beetles, but is unlikely to slow the spread of the vine in North America unless further adaptation occurs.

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Acknowledgements

Technical assistance by J. Baici, B. DeJonge, L. Fluit-DeJonge, H. J. and W. deZoete, I. Hu, A. Stepniak, N. Sokolov, and T. Ung, as well as editing and guidance by R. Dickinson, M.A. Peterson, J. Dickinson, P. Kotanen, S. Murphy, and M. Cadotte is appreciated. Thanks also to Yosemite National Park, UC Davis Hastings Research Centre, and Royal Botanical Gardens, for use of their properties. This research was funded by the Invasive Species Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Faculty of Forestry, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship to R. B. deJonge.

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Fig. S1

Mean leaf area of Apocynum cannabinum and Vincetoxicum rossicum fed on by Chrysochus cobaltinus beetles collected among three sites within California, two sites within the Chrysochus hybrid zone in Washington State, and one site outside of the Chrysochus hybrid zone in Washington State during 2013. Box plots are arranged from south to north, and represent a 5 number summary of the data (minimum, first quartile, median, third quartile, and maximum). Open circles represent outliers (1.5 × interquartile range (IQR). Stars represent extreme values (3 × IQR). There were no significant differences between sites for either plant species. Numbers below the bars represent the number of beetles that fed versus the number of beetles tested. (JPEG 48 kb)

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deJonge, R.B., Bourchier, R.S., Jones, I.M. et al. Predicting the outcome of potential novel associations: interactions between the invasive Vincetoxicum rossicum and native western Chrysochus beetles. Biol Invasions 21, 3169–3184 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02043-4

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Keywords

  • Novel association
  • Novel host
  • Invasive species
  • Biological control
  • Hybridization
  • Insect–plant interaction
  • Enemy release
  • Adaptation