Data from: Phylogenetic and experimental tests of interactions among mutualistic plant defense traits in Viburnum (Adoxaceae)
Weber, Marjorie G.; Clement, Wendy L.; Donoghue, Michael J.; Agrawal, Anurag A. (2012), Data from: Phylogenetic and experimental tests of interactions among mutualistic plant defense traits in Viburnum (Adoxaceae), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t4n0g
Plant traits that mediate mutualistic interactions are widespread, yet few studies link their macroevolutionary patterns with the ecological interactions they mediate. Here we merged phylogenetic and experimental approaches to investigate the evolution of two common mutualistic plant traits, extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) and leaf domatia. Using the flowering plant clade Viburnum, we tested whether macroevolutionary patterns support adaptive hypotheses, and conducted field surveys and manipulative experiments to examine whether ecological interactions are concordant with evolutionary predictions. Phylogenetic reconstructions suggested that EFN bearing species are monophyletic, whereas the evolution of domatia correlated with leaf production strategy (deciduous or evergreen) and climate. Domatia were also evolutionarily correlated with EFNs, suggesting that the two traits may jointly mediate ecological interactions. This result was further investigated in a common garden survey, where plants with domatia and EFNs on the leaf blade had more mutualistic mites than plants with other trait combinations, and in manipulative field experiments, where the traits additively increased mutualist abundance. Taken together, our results suggest that mutualistic traits in Viburnum are not ecologically independent, as they work in concert to attract and retain mutualists, and that their long-term evolution may be influenced by complex interactions among multiple traits, mutualists, and geography.