Effects of plant genotype and insect dispersal rate on the population dynamics of a forest pest

Moran, E. V., Berwick, S. and Cobbold, C. A. (2013) Effects of plant genotype and insect dispersal rate on the population dynamics of a forest pest. Ecology, 94(12), pp. 2792-2802. (doi: 10.1890/12-1708.1)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/12-1708.1


It has been shown that plant genotype can strongly affect not only individual herbivore performance but also community composition and ecosystem function. Few studies, however, have addressed how plant genotype affects herbivore population dynamics. In this paper, we use a simulation modeling approach to ask how the genetic composition of a forest influences pest outbreak dynamics, using the example of aspen (Populus tremuloides) and forest tent caterpillars (FTC; Malacosoma disstria). Specifically, we examine how plant genotype, the relative size of genotypic patches, and the rate of insect dispersal between them, affect the frequency, amplitude, and duration of outbreaks. We find that coupling two different genotypes does not necessarily result in an averaging of insect dynamics. Instead, depending on the ratio of patch sizes, when dispersal rates are moderate outbreaks in the two-genotype case may be more or less severe than in forests of either genotype alone. Thresholds for different dynamic behaviors are similar for all genotypic combinations. Thus, the qualitative behavior of a stand of two different genotypes can be predicted based on the response of the insect to each genotype, the relative sizes of the two patches, and the scale of insect dispersal.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cobbold, Professor Christina
Authors: Moran, E. V., Berwick, S., and Cobbold, C. A.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QL Zoology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Ecology
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
ISSN (Online):1939-9170

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