Polyploidy in creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) shapes the biogeography of specialist herbivores

Timothy K. O'Connor, Robert G. Laport, Noah K Whiteman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Whole-genome duplication (polyploidy) can influence the biogeography and ecology of plants that differ in ploidy level (cytotype). Here, we address how two consequences of plant polyploidy (parapatry of cytotypes and altered species interactions) shape the biogeography of herbivorous insects. Location: Warm deserts of North America. Taxa: Gall midges (Asphondylia auripila group, Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) that attack three parapatric cytotypes of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata, Zygophyllaceae). Methods: We surveyed Asphondylia species diversity at 177 sites across a 2300-km extent. After noting a correspondence between the distributions of eight Asphondylia species and L. tridentata cytotypes, we fine-mapped Asphondylia species range limits with transects spanning cytotype contact zones. We then tested whether plant–insect interactions and/or abiotic factors explain this coincidence by (a) comparing attack rates and gall midge communities on alternative cytotypes in a narrow zone of sympatry and (b) using species distribution models (SDMs) to determine if climatically suitable habitat for each midge species extended beyond cytotype contact zones. Results: The range limits of 6/17 Asphondylia species (including two novel putative species confirmed with COI sequencing) perfectly coincided with the contact zone of diploid and tetraploid L. tridentata. One midge species was restricted to diploid host plants while five were restricted to tetraploid and hexaploid host plants. Where diploid and tetraploid L. tridentata are sympatric, cytotype-restricted midge species more frequently attacked their typical host and Asphondylia community structure differed markedly between cytotypes. SDMs predicted that distributions of cytotype-restricted midge species were not constrained by climatic conditions near cytotype contact zones. Main conclusions: Contact zones between plant cytotypes are dispersal barriers for many Asphondylia species due to plant–insect interactions. The distribution of L. tridentata cytotypes therefore shapes herbivore species ranges and herbivore community structure across North American deserts. Our results demonstrate that polyploidy in plants can affect the biogeography of ecological communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Biogeography
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Larrea tridentata
creosote
polyploidy
cytotypes
biogeography
Asphondylia
herbivore
herbivores
contact zone
midges
Cecidomyiidae
tetraploidy
diploidy
gall
host plant
deserts
community structure
parapatry
host plants
desert

Keywords

  • Asphondylia
  • Cecidomyiidae
  • creosote bush
  • gall midge
  • herbivory
  • Larrea tridentata
  • North American deserts
  • polyploidy
  • species distribution models
  • species interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Polyploidy in creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) shapes the biogeography of specialist herbivores. / O'Connor, Timothy K.; Laport, Robert G.; Whiteman, Noah K.

In: Journal of Biogeography, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Aim: Whole-genome duplication (polyploidy) can influence the biogeography and ecology of plants that differ in ploidy level (cytotype). Here, we address how two consequences of plant polyploidy (parapatry of cytotypes and altered species interactions) shape the biogeography of herbivorous insects. Location: Warm deserts of North America. Taxa: Gall midges (Asphondylia auripila group, Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) that attack three parapatric cytotypes of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata, Zygophyllaceae). Methods: We surveyed Asphondylia species diversity at 177 sites across a 2300-km extent. After noting a correspondence between the distributions of eight Asphondylia species and L. tridentata cytotypes, we fine-mapped Asphondylia species range limits with transects spanning cytotype contact zones. We then tested whether plant–insect interactions and/or abiotic factors explain this coincidence by (a) comparing attack rates and gall midge communities on alternative cytotypes in a narrow zone of sympatry and (b) using species distribution models (SDMs) to determine if climatically suitable habitat for each midge species extended beyond cytotype contact zones. Results: The range limits of 6/17 Asphondylia species (including two novel putative species confirmed with COI sequencing) perfectly coincided with the contact zone of diploid and tetraploid L. tridentata. One midge species was restricted to diploid host plants while five were restricted to tetraploid and hexaploid host plants. Where diploid and tetraploid L. tridentata are sympatric, cytotype-restricted midge species more frequently attacked their typical host and Asphondylia community structure differed markedly between cytotypes. SDMs predicted that distributions of cytotype-restricted midge species were not constrained by climatic conditions near cytotype contact zones. Main conclusions: Contact zones between plant cytotypes are dispersal barriers for many Asphondylia species due to plant–insect interactions. The distribution of L. tridentata cytotypes therefore shapes herbivore species ranges and herbivore community structure across North American deserts. Our results demonstrate that polyploidy in plants can affect the biogeography of ecological communities.",
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AU - Whiteman, Noah K

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Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Aim: Whole-genome duplication (polyploidy) can influence the biogeography and ecology of plants that differ in ploidy level (cytotype). Here, we address how two consequences of plant polyploidy (parapatry of cytotypes and altered species interactions) shape the biogeography of herbivorous insects. Location: Warm deserts of North America. Taxa: Gall midges (Asphondylia auripila group, Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) that attack three parapatric cytotypes of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata, Zygophyllaceae). Methods: We surveyed Asphondylia species diversity at 177 sites across a 2300-km extent. After noting a correspondence between the distributions of eight Asphondylia species and L. tridentata cytotypes, we fine-mapped Asphondylia species range limits with transects spanning cytotype contact zones. We then tested whether plant–insect interactions and/or abiotic factors explain this coincidence by (a) comparing attack rates and gall midge communities on alternative cytotypes in a narrow zone of sympatry and (b) using species distribution models (SDMs) to determine if climatically suitable habitat for each midge species extended beyond cytotype contact zones. Results: The range limits of 6/17 Asphondylia species (including two novel putative species confirmed with COI sequencing) perfectly coincided with the contact zone of diploid and tetraploid L. tridentata. One midge species was restricted to diploid host plants while five were restricted to tetraploid and hexaploid host plants. Where diploid and tetraploid L. tridentata are sympatric, cytotype-restricted midge species more frequently attacked their typical host and Asphondylia community structure differed markedly between cytotypes. SDMs predicted that distributions of cytotype-restricted midge species were not constrained by climatic conditions near cytotype contact zones. Main conclusions: Contact zones between plant cytotypes are dispersal barriers for many Asphondylia species due to plant–insect interactions. The distribution of L. tridentata cytotypes therefore shapes herbivore species ranges and herbivore community structure across North American deserts. Our results demonstrate that polyploidy in plants can affect the biogeography of ecological communities.

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KW - Cecidomyiidae

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KW - gall midge

KW - herbivory

KW - Larrea tridentata

KW - North American deserts

KW - polyploidy

KW - species distribution models

KW - species interactions

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