A three-trophic-level analysis of the effects of plant hybridization on a leaf-mining moth

Ralph W Preszler, William J Boecklen
Oecologia 1994, 100 (1-2): 66-73
We investigated relationships between host plant hybridization in the Quercus grisea x Q. gambelii species complex and the distribution and performance of a leaf-mining moth in the genus Phyllonorycter. In 2 years at two sites Phyllonorycter densities were lowest on Q. grisea and increased through the categories of hybrid host plants to Q. gambelii. Direct host plant effects on Phyllonorycter performance were consistent with Phyllonorycter distribution; unexplained mortality of larvae in the mines, which is often associated with direct plant effects, decreased from Q. grisea through the hybrids to Q. gambelii. Plant hybridization influenced parasitism of Phyllonorycter. Parasitism was density dependent, and across all densities was higher on Q. grisea and Q. gambelii than on hybrid host plants.

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