Effects of intraspecific and intra‑individual differences in plant quality on preference and performance of monophagous aphid species

Jakobs R, Müller C (2018)
Oecologia 186(1): 173–184.

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Abstract
Plant chemistry is one of the main drivers of herbivore distribution. Monophagous herbivore species are highly specialized, but even within their only host species the chemistry varies. The herbivore’s choice is initially mainly guided by volatile plant compounds. Once on the plant, particularly for aphids the phloem quality affects their performance. However, little is known about the intraspecific and intra-individual variation in phloem sap and their influences on monophagous aphids. To determine potential mechanisms involved in aphid colonization, we tested the effects of intraspecific chemical variation in Tanacetum vulgare, which produces different chemotypes, on the preference of two monophagous aphid species. Moreover, we measured the performance of the aphids on different plant parts (stem close to the inflorescence, young and old leaves) of these chemotypes and analyzed their phloem sap composition. Both species preferred the β-thujone (THU) over the trans-carvyl acetate (CAR) chemotype in dual-choice assays. Survival of Macrosiphoniella tanacetaria was neither affected by intraspecific nor intra-individual variation, whereas the reproduction was highest on stems. In contrast, Uroleucon tanaceti survived and reproduced best on old leaves of the preferred chemotype. The sugar, organic acid and amino acid composition pronouncedly differed between phloem exudates of different plant parts, but less between chemotypes. Unexpectedly, high concentrations of amino acids did not necessarily enhance aphid performance. These different performance optima may cause niche differentiation and, therefore, enable co-existence. In conclusion, the tremendous variation in plant chemistry even within one species can affect the distribution of highly specialized aphids at various scales aphid species-specifically.
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Jakobs R, Müller C. Effects of intraspecific and intra‑individual differences in plant quality on preference and performance of monophagous aphid species. Oecologia. 2018;186(1):173–184.
Jakobs, R., & Müller, C. (2018). Effects of intraspecific and intra‑individual differences in plant quality on preference and performance of monophagous aphid species. Oecologia, 186(1), 173–184. doi:10.1007/s00442-017-3998-x
Jakobs, R., and Müller, C. (2018). Effects of intraspecific and intra‑individual differences in plant quality on preference and performance of monophagous aphid species. Oecologia 186, 173–184.
Jakobs, R., & Müller, C., 2018. Effects of intraspecific and intra‑individual differences in plant quality on preference and performance of monophagous aphid species. Oecologia, 186(1), p 173–184.
R. Jakobs and C. Müller, “Effects of intraspecific and intra‑individual differences in plant quality on preference and performance of monophagous aphid species”, Oecologia, vol. 186, 2018, pp. 173–184.
Jakobs, R., Müller, C.: Effects of intraspecific and intra‑individual differences in plant quality on preference and performance of monophagous aphid species. Oecologia. 186, 173–184 (2018).
Jakobs, Ruth, and Müller, Caroline. “Effects of intraspecific and intra‑individual differences in plant quality on preference and performance of monophagous aphid species”. Oecologia 186.1 (2018): 173–184.
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