Spring phenology and pathogen infection affect multigenerational plant attackers throughout the growing season
Gaytán, Álvaro; Gotthard, Karl; Tack, Ayco (2022), Spring phenology and pathogen infection affect multigenerational plant attackers throughout the growing season, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2547d7wtn
Climate change has been shown to advance spring phenology, increase the number of insect generations per year (multivoltinism), and increase pathogen infection levels. However, we lack insights into the effects of plant spring phenology and the biotic environment on the preference and performance of multivoltine herbivores and whether such effects extend into the later part of the growing season. To this aim, we used a multifactorial growth chamber experiment to examine the influence of spring phenology on plant pathogen infection, and how the independent and interactive effects of spring phenology and plant pathogen infection affect the preference and performance of multigenerational attackers (the leaf miner Tischeria ekebladella and the aphid Tuberculatus annulatus) on the pedunculate oak in the early, mid and late parts of the plant growing season. Pathogen infection was highest on late phenology plants, irrespective of whether inoculations were conducted in the early, mid or late season. The leaf miner consistently preferred to oviposit on middle and late phenology plants, as well as healthy plants, during all parts of the growing season, whereas we detected an interactive effect between spring phenology and pathogen infection on the performance of the leaf miner. Aphids preferred healthy, late phenology plants during the early season, healthy plants during the mid season, and middle phenology plants during the late season, whereas aphid performance was consistently higher on healthy plants during all parts of the growing season. Our findings highlight that the impact of spring phenology on pathogen infection and the preference and performance of insect herbivores is not restricted to the early season, but that its imprint is still present – and sometimes equally strong – during the peak and end of the growing season. Plant pathogens generally negatively affected herbivore preference and performance, and modulated the effects of spring phenology. We conclude that spring phenology and pathogen infection are two important factors shaping the preference and performance of multigenerational plant attackers, which is particularly relevant given the current advance in spring phenology, pathogen outbreaks and increase in voltinism with climate change.
Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas, Award: 2015-03993 and 2021-03784
Bolin Center For Climate Research