Scales of dispersal among hosts in a herbivorous marine amphipod
Article first published online: 13 OCT 2009
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 219–228, April 2005
How to Cite
POORE, A. G. B. (2005), Scales of dispersal among hosts in a herbivorous marine amphipod. Austral Ecology, 30: 219–228. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2005.01439.x
- Issue published online: 13 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 13 OCT 2009
- Accepted for publication May 2004.
- host choice
Abstract The spatial arrangement of plants may constrain the expression of herbivore preferences due to interaction between the scales of herbivore mobility and vegetation structure. I tested the hypothesis that the presence of the herbivorous marine amphipod Peramphithoe parmerong (Ampithoidae) on a low-preference, poor-quality host (the brown alga Padina crassa) was due to limited dispersal and the clumped nature of algal distributions. In contrast to limited dispersal in laboratory assays, amphipods rapidly colonized vacant algae in the field with natural densities being achieved within 1 day. These high rates of colonization did not decline with increasing distance from existing algal beds over the spatial scales separating Pa. crassa from the higher-quality host algae (Sargassum spp.). Thus, the spatial arrangement of host algae did not interact with herbivore mobility to constrain host choices.