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Event Detail Information

INHS Seminar - Dr. Ian Pearse - Predicting Novel Trophic Interactions Between Plants and Insects

Date Oct 21, 2014
Time 3:00 pm  
Location 1005 Forbes Natural History Building - 1816 S. Oak St, Champaign
Sponsor Illinois Natural History Survey
Event type Lecture
Views 41

PREDICTING NOVEL TROPHIC INTERACTIONS BETWEEN PLANTS AND INSECTS

IAN PEARSE
Postdoctoral Researcher
Illinois Natural History Survey

Climate change and human-aided introductions are rapidly altering the ranges of most organisms, and novel trophic interactions have developed between organisms that previously did not co-occur. I explored novel interactions between native herbivores and non-native oak trees in order to understand the mechanisms that underlie novel host use and to build predictive models that anticipate novel food webs. I found that different herbivores responded to different non-native plant traits, but that phylogenetic similarity between the novel host and a local native host was typically a good predictor of host-use. Using information about native food webs and plant phylogeny, I was able to accurately predict the moth and butterfly communities on non-native plants introduced to central Europe. At a broad scale, novel herbivore-plant interactions are predictable based on plant relationships and traits, even though the mechanisms governing each interaction may differ.

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