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      Importance of biotic niches versus drift in a plant‐inhabiting arthropod community depends on rarity and trophic group

      1 , 2 , 3 , 1
      Ecography
      Wiley

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          Most cited references27

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          The Commonness, And Rarity, of Species

          F. Preston (1948)
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            The global distribution of diet breadth in insect herbivores.

            Understanding variation in resource specialization is important for progress on issues that include coevolution, community assembly, ecosystem processes, and the latitudinal gradient of species richness. Herbivorous insects are useful models for studying resource specialization, and the interaction between plants and herbivorous insects is one of the most common and consequential ecological associations on the planet. However, uncertainty persists regarding fundamental features of herbivore diet breadth, including its relationship to latitude and plant species richness. Here, we use a global dataset to investigate host range for over 7,500 insect herbivore species covering a wide taxonomic breadth and interacting with more than 2,000 species of plants in 165 families. We ask whether relatively specialized and generalized herbivores represent a dichotomy rather than a continuum from few to many host families and species attacked and whether diet breadth changes with increasing plant species richness toward the tropics. Across geographic regions and taxonomic subsets of the data, we find that the distribution of diet breadth is fit well by a discrete, truncated Pareto power law characterized by the predominance of specialized herbivores and a long, thin tail of more generalized species. Both the taxonomic and phylogenetic distributions of diet breadth shift globally with latitude, consistent with a higher frequency of specialized insects in tropical regions. We also find that more diverse lineages of plants support assemblages of relatively more specialized herbivores and that the global distribution of plant diversity contributes to but does not fully explain the latitudinal gradient in insect herbivore specialization.
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              The specificity of herbivore-induced plant volatiles in attracting herbivore enemies.

              Plants respond to herbivore attack by emitting complex mixtures of volatile compounds that attract herbivore enemies, both predators and parasitoids. Here, we explore whether these mixtures provide significant value as information cues in herbivore enemy attraction. Our survey indicates that blends of volatiles released from damaged plants are frequently specific depending on the type of herbivore and its age, abundance and feeding guild. The sensory perception of plant volatiles by herbivore enemies is also specific, according to the latest evidence from studies of insect olfaction. Thus, enemies do exploit the detailed information provided by plant volatile mixtures in searching for their prey or hosts, but this varies with the diet breadth of the enemy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ecography
                Ecography
                Wiley
                0906-7590
                1600-0587
                September 2019
                November 2019
                August 23 2019
                November 2019
                : 42
                : 11
                : 1926-1935
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Dept of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch Univ Matieland South Africa
                [2 ]Centre for Invasion Biology, Dept of Mathematical Sciences, Stellenbosch Univ., and African Inst. for Mathematical Sciences Matieland South Africa
                [3 ]Dept of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch Univ Matieland South Africa
                Article
                10.1111/ecog.04396
                b597762d-44f4-46d9-b524-428d46aa33c9
                © 2019

                http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/termsAndConditions#vor

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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