Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology
We have published a paper that shows how phytochemical beta-diversity affects insect specialization!
Quantity and specialisation matter: Effects of quantitative and qualitative variation in willow chemistry on resource preference in leaf-chewing insects
Phytochemical diversity plays important roles in plant-Insect interactions, but specific roles of its various dimensions are poorly known. We linked phytochemical variation in willow salicylates (Salicaceae-specific metabolites) and flavonoids (widespread metabolites) to a standardised distance-based specialisation index (DSI*) in three orders of leaf-chewing insects: sawfly larvae, beetles, and caterpillars. Our results suggest that β-diversity in plant chemistry has differential effects on insect herbivores depending on their order and chemical β-diversity measurement used.
Chrysomela populi - one of the highly specialized herbivores studied in this paper.
Volf M., Leong J.V., de Lima Ferreira P., Volfová T., Kozel P., Matos-Maraví P., Hörandl E., Wagner N.D., Luntamo N., Salminen J.-P., Segar S.T., Sedio B.E. (2023) Contrasting levels of β‐diversity and underlying phylogenetic trends indicate different paths to chemical diversity in highland and lowland willow species, Ecology Letters, 26: 1599-1571.,DOI: 10.1111/ele.14273