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Data from: Insect herbivory in novel Quercus ilex L. forests: the role of landscape attributes, forest composition and host traits

Citation

Espelta, Josep Maria (2020), Data from: Insect herbivory in novel Quercus ilex L. forests: the role of landscape attributes, forest composition and host traits, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.rxwdbrv4v

Abstract

Context Understanding the intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of herbivory in novel expanding forests is essential to envisage their role for biodiversity conservation.

Aims: To analyze the effects of landscape attributes, forest composition, genetic relatedness, ontogeny and leaf traits on insect herbivory in novel Q. ilex forest stands.

Methods: In 15 forest patches, we examined effects of patch size and connectivity, forest composition, and tree height, specific leaf area (SLA) and nitrogen content on herbivory. In 3 forest patches, we assessed effects of tree genetic relatedness, ontogeny and spatial distribution.

Results: Herbivory was lower in pine-oak than in mixed-oak forests owing to the shorter tree height in the former with no effects of patch size or connectivity. Herbivory increased with SLA whereas nitrogen content had no effect. Within patches, herbivory differed among genetic clusters and was reduced in saplings growing near mature oaks and individuals near the forest edge. 

Conclusion We illustrate the strong context and scale dependence of tree-herbivore interactions that renders predictions for dynamic systems such as novel oak forests extremely challenging. It implies, however, that the structural heterogeneity of such unmanaged forests allows their function as stepping stones for insect herbivore diversity in fragmented landscapes.

Methods

The data corresponds to two studies (study I and Study II) on the influence of landscape characteristics, genetic relatedness, ontogeny and intra-patch position of the host in herbivory damage in Quercus ilex individuals.

Usage Notes

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Funding

Seventh Framework Programme, Award: FP7 284181

Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, Award: APCIN_2016_0174

Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades, Award: RTI2018-099397-B-C22

Grants from Investissements d’Avenir, Award: ANR-10-EQPX-16-01