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  • Open Access

Causes behind insect folivory patterns in latitudinal gradients

Authors

  • Christer Björkman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
      Correspondence author. E-mail: christer.bjorkman@ekol.slu.se
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  • Åsa Berggren,

    1. Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
    2. Swedish Species Information Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7007, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
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  • Helena Bylund

    1. Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7044, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
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Correspondence author. E-mail: christer.bjorkman@ekol.slu.se

Summary

1. Adams and Zhang recently published one of the best studies so far of patterns of insect folivory along a latitudinal (climatic) gradient. They show clear negative trends in foliage loss in relation to temperature for certain groups of insect herbivores.

2. Although their suggestion that the plant–herbivore interaction may be more important in cooler climates could be valid, they did not bring up the complementary explanation that interactions between predators and herbivores could also vary with climate. There are indications that insect natural enemies may respond more positively than insect herbivores to an increase in temperature. We argue that higher predator pressure in warmer climates may partly explain the patterns observed by Adams and Zhang.

3.Synthesis.To further develop the important research concerning herbivory in a changing climate, both theoretically and empirically, plant ecologists and entomologists would mutually benefit from joining forces.

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