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Sharon E. Zytynska, Laurent Frantz, Ben Hurst, Andrew Johnson, Richard F. Preziosi and Jennifer K. Rowntree Host-plant genotypic diversity and community genetic interactions mediate aphid spatial distribution Ecology and Evolution 4

Article first published online: 15 DEC 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.916

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In this study we used a three species aphid-plant model system (aphids, host-plant and parasitic plant) to investigate the effect of genetic diversity on genetic interactions among the community members. We showed that aphids cluster more tightly in a genetically diverse host-plant system than in a genetic monoculture. Furthermore, within the host-plant diversity levels, aphid distribution was influenced by higher-order genetic interactions among all community members. Thus, a complex genetic environment influences the distribution of herbivores among host plants, suggesting that direct and indirect genotypic interactions among species can influence community structure and processes.

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