Current address: Department of Entomology, 410 Forbes Building, University of Arizona, PO Box 210036, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
Adaptations of an insect to a novel host plant: a phylogenetic approach
Article first published online: 9 JUN 2006
© 2006 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2006 British Ecological Society
Volume 20, Issue 3, pages 478–485, June 2006
How to Cite
GASSMANN, A. J., LEVY, A., TRAN, T. and FUTUYMA, D. J. (2006), Adaptations of an insect to a novel host plant: a phylogenetic approach. Functional Ecology, 20: 478–485. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2006.01118.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUN 2006
- Article first published online: 9 JUN 2006
- Received 26 September 2005; revised 31 January 2006; accepted 20 February 2006Editor: Charles W. Fox
- conversion efficiency;
- host shift;
- plant–herbivore interactions
- 1The importance of behavioural vs physiological adaptations in the evolution of host associations by herbivorous insects is largely unknown.
- 2We compared sister species of beetles, one of which, Ophraella slobodkini, feeds on the lineage's ancestral host, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, while O. notulata has shifted to a novel host, Iva frutescens. Assuming O. slobodkini represents the features of the Ambrosia-feeding ancestor, we asked if behavioural and physiological barriers to utilizing Iva existed and if adaptation to these barriers occurred. We also tested for trade-offs between use of novel and ancestral hosts by O. notulata.
- 3We found evidence that the ancestor of O. notulata would have been deterred from feeding on Iva and suffered lower conversion efficiency.
- 4Ophraella notulata appears to have adapted behaviourally by increasing consumption of Iva, but we did not detect a significant increase in its physiological capacity to use Iva. Additionally, the switch to Iva by O. notulata did not reduce its physiological capacity to use the ancestral host, Ambrosia.
- 5Our results suggest that novel host associations may arise from behavioural adaptations, with physiological adaptations a secondary result of behavioural changes. We discuss implications for hypotheses of host shifts and the evolution of specialization.