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15 July 2020 Diversity of Gall-Inducing Insects Associated With a Widely Distributed Tropical Tree Species: Testing the Environmental Stress Hypothesis
Marcílio Fagundes, Pablo Cuevas-Reyes, Letícia F. Ramos Leite, Magno Augusto Zazá Borges, Walter Santos de Araújo, G. Wilson Fernandes, Walisson Kenedy Siqueira
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Abstract

Abiotic factors can affect plant performance and cause stress, which in turn affects plant–herbivore interactions. The Environmental Stress Hypothesis (ESH) predicts that gall-inducing insect diversity will be greater on host plants that grow in stressful habitats. We tested this hypothesis, considering both historical and ecological scales, using the plant Copaifera langsdorffii Desf. (Fabaceae) as a model because it has a wide geographic distribution and is a super-host of gall-inducing insects. According to the ESH, we predicted that 1) on a historical scale, the diversity of gall-inducing insects will be higher in habitats with greater environmental stress and 2) on an ecological scale, gall-inducing insect diversity will be greater on plants that possess greater levels of foliar sclerophylly. We sampled gall-inducing insects on plants of C. langsdorffii in five sites with different levels of water and soil nutrient availability and separated from each other by a distance of up to 470 km. The composition, richness, and abundance of gall-inducing insects varied among study sites. Plants located in more stressful habitats had higher levels of foliar sclerophylly; but richness and abundance of gall-inducing insects were not affected by host plant sclerophylly. Habitat stress was a good predictor of gall-inducing insect diversity on a regional scale, thus corroborating the first prediction of the ESH. No relationship was found between plant sclerophylly and gall-inducing insect diversity within habitats. Therefore, on a local scale, we did not find support for our second prediction related to the ESH.

© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Marcílio Fagundes, Pablo Cuevas-Reyes, Letícia F. Ramos Leite, Magno Augusto Zazá Borges, Walter Santos de Araújo, G. Wilson Fernandes, and Walisson Kenedy Siqueira "Diversity of Gall-Inducing Insects Associated With a Widely Distributed Tropical Tree Species: Testing the Environmental Stress Hypothesis," Environmental Entomology 49(4), 838-847, (15 July 2020). https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvaa072
Received: 3 February 2020; Accepted: 11 May 2020; Published: 15 July 2020
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KEYWORDS
Brazilian Savanna
Environmental filtering
gall-inducing species diversity
habitat stress
plant sclerophylly
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