Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/594954
Title:
Insect Behavior Determines Plant Distribution in Alpine Habitat
Author:
Alexandre, Nicolas M.
Issue Date:
2015
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Specialist leaf-mining fly Scaptomyza nigrita is a major herbivore of its host plant Cardamine cordifolia. Host plants are found along a gradient from sun-exposed bog to deep spruce shade habitat where herbivory decreases as shade increases. Prior studies have failed to support the hypothesis that plant quality determines plant distribution. A series of outdoor cage experiments utilizing a factorial design tested whether herbivore choice may instead drive plant distribution. It was found that adult female S. nigrita exhibited a significant preference for feeding and ovipositing on C. cordifolia leaves exposed to light, regardless of habitat origin of plant, leaf width, or presence of prior herbivore damage. This study does not support the phytocentric explanation that host plant distribution is determined by herbivore preference for plants based on their quality. My findings instead support the hypothesis that herbivores drive plant distributions into the shade by creating enemy-free space for host plants through their preference for light.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Degree Name:
B.S.
Degree Level:
bachelors
Degree Program:
Honors College; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Whiteman, Noah

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleInsect Behavior Determines Plant Distribution in Alpine Habitaten_US
dc.creatorAlexandre, Nicolas M.en
dc.contributor.authorAlexandre, Nicolas M.en
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractSpecialist leaf-mining fly Scaptomyza nigrita is a major herbivore of its host plant Cardamine cordifolia. Host plants are found along a gradient from sun-exposed bog to deep spruce shade habitat where herbivory decreases as shade increases. Prior studies have failed to support the hypothesis that plant quality determines plant distribution. A series of outdoor cage experiments utilizing a factorial design tested whether herbivore choice may instead drive plant distribution. It was found that adult female S. nigrita exhibited a significant preference for feeding and ovipositing on C. cordifolia leaves exposed to light, regardless of habitat origin of plant, leaf width, or presence of prior herbivore damage. This study does not support the phytocentric explanation that host plant distribution is determined by herbivore preference for plants based on their quality. My findings instead support the hypothesis that herbivores drive plant distributions into the shade by creating enemy-free space for host plants through their preference for light.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
thesis.degree.nameB.S.en
thesis.degree.levelbachelorsen
thesis.degree.disciplineHonors Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineEcology and Evolutionary Biologyen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorWhiteman, Noahen
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