Data from: Are dominant plant species more susceptible to leaf-mining insects? A case study at Saihanwula Nature Reserve, China
Dai, Xiaohua et al. (2018), Data from: Are dominant plant species more susceptible to leaf-mining insects? A case study at Saihanwula Nature Reserve, China, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sc3fr20
Dominant species significantly affect interspecific relationships, community structure and ecosystem function. In the field, dominant species are often identified by their high importance values. Selective foraging on dominant species is a common phenomenon in ecology. Our hypothesis is that dominant plant groups with high importance values are more susceptible to leaf-mining insects at the regional level. Here, we used the Saihanwula National Nature Reserve as a case study to examine the presence-absence patterns of leaf-mining insects on different plants in a forest-grassland ecotone in Northeast China. We identified the following patterns: (1) After phylogenetic correction, plants with high importance values are more likely to host leafminers at the species, genus or family level. (2) Other factors including phylogenetic isolation, life form, water ecotype and phytogeographical type of plants, have different influences on the relationship between plant dominance and leafminer presence. In summary, the importance value is a valid predictor of the presence of consumers, even when we consider the effects of plant phylogeny and other plant attributes. Dominant plant groups are large and susceptible targets of leaf-mining insects. The consistent leaf-mining distribution pattern across different countries, vegetation types and plant taxa can be explained by the ‘species-area relationship’ or the ‘plant apparency hypothesis’.
Saihanwula National Nature Reserve