The geographical range structure of the holly leaf-miner. IV. Effects of variation in host-plant quality
Article first published online: 18 AUG 2004
Journal of Animal Ecology
Volume 73, Issue 5, pages 911–924, September 2004
How to Cite
GASTON, K. J., GENNEY, D. R., THURLOW, M. and HARTLEY, S. E. (2004), The geographical range structure of the holly leaf-miner. IV. Effects of variation in host-plant quality. Journal of Animal Ecology, 73: 911–924. doi: 10.1111/j.0021-8790.2004.00866.x
- Issue published online: 18 AUG 2004
- Article first published online: 18 AUG 2004
- Received 1 October 2003; accepted 9 February 2004
- bottom-up factors;
- geographical range;
- host-plant quality;
- spatial structure;
- top-down factors
- 1Spatial variation and covariation in host-plant quality, herbivore abundance and herbivore mortality were examined across the natural geographical range in Europe of holly Ilex aquifolium and the host-specific holly leaf-miner Phytomyza ilicis.
- 2Although measures of host-plant quality showed substantial between-site variation, no simple spatial pattern in any of the measures (only phosphorus content and leaf mass showed correlations with latitude, longitude or altitude) was detected, and few correlations with tree or local site characteristics.
- 3In contrast, measures of the abundance of the leaf-miner exhibited marked spatial patterns, resulting in a lack of simple covariance between leaf-miner abundance and host-plant quality.
- 4Different apparent mortalities of the leaf-miner exhibited varied spatial patterns in their intensity, but no evidence of range-wide density dependence, again resulting in few patterns of covariance between intensity of mortality and measures of host-plant quality.
- 5The population dynamics of the holly leaf-miner across its geographical range are complex. At any site, the mortality that a population experiences is the sum of largely independent yet spatially structured components, against a background of varying host-plant quality. Despite lacking any marked spatial structure, host-plant quality may have important local effects. These are difficult to detect regionally, and thus may principally contribute noise to regional patterns of levels of oviposition, abundance and mortality.