Local and latitudinal variation in abundance: The mechanisms shaping the distribution of an ecosystemengineer

Gregory M. Crutsinger, Angélica L. Gonzalez, Kerri M. Crawford, Nathan J. Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecological processes that determine the abundance of species within ecological communities vary across space and time. These scale-dependent processes are especially important when they affect key members of a community, such as ecosystem engineers that create shelter and food resources for other species. Yet, few studies have examined the suite of processes that shape the abundance of ecosystem engineers. Here, we evaluated the relative influence of temporal variation, local processes, and latitude on the abundance of an engineering insect-a rosette-galling midge, Rhopalomyia solidaginis (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Over a period of 3-5 years, we studied the density and size of galls across a suite of local experiments that manipulated genetic variation, soil nutrient availability, and the removal of other insects fromthe host plant, Solidago altissima (tall goldenrod).We also surveyed gall density within a single growing season across a 2,300 km latitudinal transect of goldenrod populations in the eastern United States. At the local scale, we found that host-plant genotypic variation was the best predictor of rosette gall density and size within a single year. We found that the removal of other insect herbivores resulted in an increase in gall density and size. The amendment of soil nutrients for four years had no effect on gall density, but galls were smaller in carbon-added plots compared to control and nitrogen additions. Finally, we observed that gall density varied several fold across years. At the biogeographic scale, we observed that the density of rosette gallers peaked at mid-latitudes. Using meta-analytic approaches, we found that the effect size of time, followed by host-plant genetic variation and latitude were the best predictors of gall density. Taken together, our study provides a unique comparison of multiple factors across different spatial and temporal scales that govern engineering insect herbivore density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere100
JournalPeerJ
Volume2013
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 14 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Solidago
Ecosystems
galls
Insects
Nutrients
Herbivory
Food
Ecosystem
Soils
Engineers
Soil
Biota
insects
Nitrogen
Carbon
host plants
Availability
Diptera
soil nutrients
Rhopalomyia

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

Keywords

  • Biogeography
  • Community ecology
  • Ecosystem engineer
  • Genetic variation
  • Latitudinal gradient
  • Plant-insect interactions
  • Soil nutrients
  • Solidago altissima

Cite this

Crutsinger, Gregory M. ; Gonzalez, Angélica L. ; Crawford, Kerri M. ; Sanders, Nathan J. / Local and latitudinal variation in abundance : The mechanisms shaping the distribution of an ecosystemengineer. In: PeerJ. 2013 ; Vol. 2013, No. 1.
@article{76800c3db86a485ea724c8a5f6417faf,
title = "Local and latitudinal variation in abundance: The mechanisms shaping the distribution of an ecosystemengineer",
abstract = "Ecological processes that determine the abundance of species within ecological communities vary across space and time. These scale-dependent processes are especially important when they affect key members of a community, such as ecosystem engineers that create shelter and food resources for other species. Yet, few studies have examined the suite of processes that shape the abundance of ecosystem engineers. Here, we evaluated the relative influence of temporal variation, local processes, and latitude on the abundance of an engineering insect-a rosette-galling midge, Rhopalomyia solidaginis (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Over a period of 3-5 years, we studied the density and size of galls across a suite of local experiments that manipulated genetic variation, soil nutrient availability, and the removal of other insects fromthe host plant, Solidago altissima (tall goldenrod).We also surveyed gall density within a single growing season across a 2,300 km latitudinal transect of goldenrod populations in the eastern United States. At the local scale, we found that host-plant genotypic variation was the best predictor of rosette gall density and size within a single year. We found that the removal of other insect herbivores resulted in an increase in gall density and size. The amendment of soil nutrients for four years had no effect on gall density, but galls were smaller in carbon-added plots compared to control and nitrogen additions. Finally, we observed that gall density varied several fold across years. At the biogeographic scale, we observed that the density of rosette gallers peaked at mid-latitudes. Using meta-analytic approaches, we found that the effect size of time, followed by host-plant genetic variation and latitude were the best predictors of gall density. Taken together, our study provides a unique comparison of multiple factors across different spatial and temporal scales that govern engineering insect herbivore density.",
keywords = "Biogeography, Community ecology, Ecosystem engineer, Genetic variation, Latitudinal gradient, Plant-insect interactions, Soil nutrients, Solidago altissima",
author = "Crutsinger, {Gregory M.} and Gonzalez, {Ang{\'e}lica L.} and Crawford, {Kerri M.} and Sanders, {Nathan J.}",
year = "2013",
month = "10",
day = "14",
doi = "https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.100",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2013",
journal = "PeerJ",
issn = "2167-8359",
publisher = "PeerJ Inc.",
number = "1",

}

Local and latitudinal variation in abundance : The mechanisms shaping the distribution of an ecosystemengineer. / Crutsinger, Gregory M.; Gonzalez, Angélica L.; Crawford, Kerri M.; Sanders, Nathan J.

In: PeerJ, Vol. 2013, No. 1, e100, 14.10.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Local and latitudinal variation in abundance

T2 - The mechanisms shaping the distribution of an ecosystemengineer

AU - Crutsinger, Gregory M.

AU - Gonzalez, Angélica L.

AU - Crawford, Kerri M.

AU - Sanders, Nathan J.

PY - 2013/10/14

Y1 - 2013/10/14

N2 - Ecological processes that determine the abundance of species within ecological communities vary across space and time. These scale-dependent processes are especially important when they affect key members of a community, such as ecosystem engineers that create shelter and food resources for other species. Yet, few studies have examined the suite of processes that shape the abundance of ecosystem engineers. Here, we evaluated the relative influence of temporal variation, local processes, and latitude on the abundance of an engineering insect-a rosette-galling midge, Rhopalomyia solidaginis (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Over a period of 3-5 years, we studied the density and size of galls across a suite of local experiments that manipulated genetic variation, soil nutrient availability, and the removal of other insects fromthe host plant, Solidago altissima (tall goldenrod).We also surveyed gall density within a single growing season across a 2,300 km latitudinal transect of goldenrod populations in the eastern United States. At the local scale, we found that host-plant genotypic variation was the best predictor of rosette gall density and size within a single year. We found that the removal of other insect herbivores resulted in an increase in gall density and size. The amendment of soil nutrients for four years had no effect on gall density, but galls were smaller in carbon-added plots compared to control and nitrogen additions. Finally, we observed that gall density varied several fold across years. At the biogeographic scale, we observed that the density of rosette gallers peaked at mid-latitudes. Using meta-analytic approaches, we found that the effect size of time, followed by host-plant genetic variation and latitude were the best predictors of gall density. Taken together, our study provides a unique comparison of multiple factors across different spatial and temporal scales that govern engineering insect herbivore density.

AB - Ecological processes that determine the abundance of species within ecological communities vary across space and time. These scale-dependent processes are especially important when they affect key members of a community, such as ecosystem engineers that create shelter and food resources for other species. Yet, few studies have examined the suite of processes that shape the abundance of ecosystem engineers. Here, we evaluated the relative influence of temporal variation, local processes, and latitude on the abundance of an engineering insect-a rosette-galling midge, Rhopalomyia solidaginis (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Over a period of 3-5 years, we studied the density and size of galls across a suite of local experiments that manipulated genetic variation, soil nutrient availability, and the removal of other insects fromthe host plant, Solidago altissima (tall goldenrod).We also surveyed gall density within a single growing season across a 2,300 km latitudinal transect of goldenrod populations in the eastern United States. At the local scale, we found that host-plant genotypic variation was the best predictor of rosette gall density and size within a single year. We found that the removal of other insect herbivores resulted in an increase in gall density and size. The amendment of soil nutrients for four years had no effect on gall density, but galls were smaller in carbon-added plots compared to control and nitrogen additions. Finally, we observed that gall density varied several fold across years. At the biogeographic scale, we observed that the density of rosette gallers peaked at mid-latitudes. Using meta-analytic approaches, we found that the effect size of time, followed by host-plant genetic variation and latitude were the best predictors of gall density. Taken together, our study provides a unique comparison of multiple factors across different spatial and temporal scales that govern engineering insect herbivore density.

KW - Biogeography

KW - Community ecology

KW - Ecosystem engineer

KW - Genetic variation

KW - Latitudinal gradient

KW - Plant-insect interactions

KW - Soil nutrients

KW - Solidago altissima

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84885087243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84885087243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.100

DO - https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.100

M3 - Article

C2 - 23862102

VL - 2013

JO - PeerJ

JF - PeerJ

SN - 2167-8359

IS - 1

M1 - e100

ER -