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Effects of phenological mismatch under warming are modified by community context

Citation

Pardikes, Nicholas (2022), Effects of phenological mismatch under warming are modified by community context, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.02v6wwq5k

Abstract

Climate change is altering the relative timing of species interactions by shifting when species first appear in communities and modifying the duration organisms spend in each developmental stage. However, community contexts, such as intraspecific competition and alternative resource species, can prolong shortened windows of availability and may mitigate the effects of phenological shifts on species interactions. Using a combination of laboratory experiments and dynamic simulations, we quantified how the effects of phenological shifts in Drosophila-parasitoid interactions differed with concurrent changes in temperature, intraspecific competition, and the presence of alternative host species. Our study confirmed that warming shortens the window of host susceptibility. However, the presence of alternative host species sustained interaction persistence across a broader range of phenological shifts than pairwise interactions by increasing the degree of temporal overlap with suitable development stages between hosts and parasitoids. Irrespective of phenological shifts, parasitism rates declined under warming due to reduced parasitoid performance, which limited the ability of community context to manage temporally mismatched interactions. These results demonstrate that the ongoing decline in insect diversity may exacerbate the effects of phenological shifts in ecological communities under future global warming temperatures.

Methods

We experimentally manipulated the timing of host-parasitoid interactions in current and expected warming temperatures. We did this in high and low levels of resource competition and in simple and complex communities. We also used this data to parameterize a multigenerational dynamic model to investigate the long-term consequences of phenological shifts.