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Multiple metrics of latitudinal patterns in insect pollination and herbivory for a tropical-temperate congener pair

Citation

Baskett, Carina; Schroeder, Lucy; Weber, Marjorie; Schemske, Douglas (2019), Multiple metrics of latitudinal patterns in insect pollination and herbivory for a tropical-temperate congener pair, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qrfj6q5b0

Abstract

The biotic interactions hypothesis posits that biotic interactions are more important drivers of adaptation closer to the equator, evidenced by “stronger” contemporary interactions (e.g. greater interaction rates) and/or patterns of trait evolution consistent with a history of stronger interactions. Support for the hypothesis is mixed, but few studies span tropical and temperate regions while experimentally controlling for evolutionary history. Here, we integrate field observations and common garden experiments to quantify the relative importance of pollination and herbivory in a pair of tropical-temperate congeneric perennial herbs. Phytolacca rivinoides and P. americana are pioneer species native to the Neotropics and the eastern USA, respectively. We compared plant-pollinator and plant-herbivore interactions between three tropical populations of P. rivinoides from Costa Rica and three temperate populations of P. americana from its northern range edge in Michigan and Ohio. For some metrics of interaction importance, we also included three subtropical populations of P. americana from its southern range edge in Florida. This approach confounds species and region but allows us, uniquely, to measure complementary proxies of interaction importance across a tropical-temperate range in one system. To test the prediction that lower-latitude plants are more reliant on insect pollinators, we quantified floral display and reward, insect visitation rates, and self-pollination ability (autogamy). To test the prediction that lower-latitude plants experience more herbivore pressure, we quantified herbivory rates, herbivore abundance, and leaf palatability. We found evidence supporting the biotic interactions hypothesis for most comparisons between P. rivinoides and north-temperate P. americana (floral display, insect visitation, autogamy, herbivory, herbivore abundance, and young-leaf palatability). Results for subtropical P. americana populations, however, were typically not intermediate between P. rivinoides and north-temperate P. americana, as would be predicted by a linear latitudinal gradient in interaction importance. Subtropical young-leaf palatability was intermediate, but subtropical mature leaves were the least palatable, and pollination-related traits did not differ between temperate and subtropical regions. These nonlinear patterns of interaction importance suggest future work to relate interaction importance to climatic or biotic thresholds. In sum, we found that the biotic interactions hypothesis was more consistently supported at the larger spatial scale of our study.

Methods

See methods in Carina A. Baskett, Lucy Schroeder, Marjorie G. Weber, and Douglas W. Schemske. Multiple metrics of latitudinal patterns in insect pollination and herbivory for a tropical-temperate congener pair. Ecological Monographs. 2019.

Table 2 of the manuscript provides a summary of results and a figure reference for each measurement, and each corresponds to a dataset uploaded here. The uploaded data is that which was used for analysis, after any "data wrangling" was performed. For example, multiple measurements of nectar volume were made per individual, but we analyzed individual means, so the deposited dataset is the individual means.

Usage Notes

Each dataset has an associated ReadMe to explain its columns.

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB 1456615

Organization for Tropical Studies, Award: Emily Foster Fellowship

Michigan State University, Award: University Distinguished Fellowship

Horizon 2020, Award: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 754411