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Data from: Museum specimens provide novel insights into changing plant-herbivore interactions

Citation

Meineke, Emily K.; Davies, T. Jonathan (2019), Data from: Museum specimens provide novel insights into changing plant-herbivore interactions, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cq2k7sq

Abstract

Mounting evidence shows that species interactions may mediate how individual species respond to climate change. However, long-term anthropogenic effects on species interactions are poorly characterized due to a lack of data. Insect herbivory is a major ecological process that represents the interaction between insect herbivores and their host plants, but historical data on insect damage to plants is particularly sparse. Here, we suggest that museum collections of insects and plants can fill key gaps in our knowledge on changing trophic interactions, including proximate mechanisms and the net outcomes of multiple global change drivers across diverse insect herbivore-plant associations. We outline theory on how global change may affect herbivores and their host plants and highlight the unique data that could be extracted from museum specimens to explore their shifting interactions. We aim to provide a framework for using museum specimens to explore how some of the most diverse co-evolved relationships are responding to climate and land use change.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: 1611880

Location

northeastern US