Data from: Plant phenological asynchrony and community structure of gall-inducing insects associated with a tropical tree species
Cite this dataset
Fagundes, Marcilio et al. (2019). Data from: Plant phenological asynchrony and community structure of gall-inducing insects associated with a tropical tree species [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.fk0v0fq
The dynamics of occurrence of target-organs in plant populations produces windows of opportunity that directly and indirectly affect the structure of herbivore communities. However, mechanisms that drive herbivore specialization between resource patches are still poorly known. In the present study, we tested three hypotheses related to variation in host plant phenology and community structure (i.e. composition, richness and abundance) of gall-forming species: (i) plants with early leaf-flushing in the season will have greater vegetative growth and high contents of secondary chemical compounds; (ii) gall-inducing insect community structure changes among temporary resource patches of the host and (iii) interspecific competition is a probable mechanism that drives gall-inducing insect community structure on Copaifera langsdorffii. We monitored daily a total of 102 individuals of the super-host C. langsdorffii from August 2012 to May 2013, to characterize the leaf flushing time of each host plant. The leaf flushing time had a positive relationship with the number of folioles per branch and a negative relationship with branch growth. We sampled a total of 4,906 galls belonging to 24 gall-inducing insect species from 102 individuals of C. langsdorffii. In spite of some gall-inducing species presented high abundance on early leaf-flushing plants, direct and indirect effects of plant phenology on galling insect abundance was species-dependent. At the community level, our study revealed that the quality and quantity of plant resources did not affect the richness and abundance of gall-inducing insects associated with C. langsdorffii. However, the richness and composition of gall-inducing species varied according to the variation in leaf flushing time of the host plant. The results of null model analysis showed that galls co-occurrence on C. langsdorffii trees differ more than expected by chance and that interspecific competition can be one potential mechanism structuring this gall-inducing insect community.