Forest microclimatic variation can result in substantial temperature differences at local scales with concomitant impacts on plant defences and herbivory. Such microclimatic effects, however, may differ across abiotically contrasting sites depending on background environmental differences. To test these cross-scale effects shaping species ecological and evolutionary responses, we experimentally tested the effects of aboveground microhabitat warming on insect leaf herbivory and leaf defences (toughness, phenolic compounds) for saplings of sessile oak Quercus petraea across two abiotically contrasting sites spanning 9° latitude. We found higher levels of herbivory at the low-latitude site, but leaf traits showed mixed patterns across sites. Toughness and condensed tannins were higher at the high-latitude site, whereas hydrolysable tannins and hydroxycinnamic acids were higher at the low-latitude site. At the microhabitat scale, experimental warming increased herbivory, but did not affect any of the measured leaf traits. Condensed tannins were negatively correlated with herbivory, suggesting that they drive variation in leaf damage at both scales. Moreover, the effects of microhabitat warming on herbivory and leaf traits were consistent across sites, i.e. effects at the microhabitat scale play out similarly despite variation in factors acting at broader scales. These findings together suggest that herbivory responds to both microhabitat (warming) and broad-scale environmental factors, whereas leaf traits appear to respond more to environmental factors operating at broad scales (e.g. macroclimatic factors) than to warming at the microhabitat scale. In turn, leaf secondary chemistry (tannins) appears to drive both broad-scale and microhabitat-scale variation in herbivory. Further studies Effects of experimental warming at the microhabitat scale on oak leaf traits and insect herbivory across a contrasting environmental gradient are needed using reciprocal transplants with more populations across a greater number of sites to tease apart plant plasticity from genetic differences contributing to leaf trait and associated herbivory responses across scales and, in doing so, better understand the potential for dynamics such as local adaptation and range expansion or contraction under shifting climatic regimes.

Effects of experimental warming at the microhabitat scale on oak leaf traits and insect herbivory across a contrasting environmental gradient / Xoaquín Moreira, Luis Abdala-Roberts, Beatriz Lago-Núñez, Ana Cao, Karen De Pauw, Annelore De Ro, Cristina Gasperini, Per-Ola Hedwall, Giovanni Iacopetti , Jonathan Lenoir, Camille Meeussen, Jan Plue, Pieter Sanczuk , Federico Selvi, Fabien Spicher, An Vanden Broeck and Pieter De Frenne. - In: OIKOS. - ISSN 1600-0706. - ELETTRONICO. - (2023), pp. e10353.1-e10353.10. [10.1111/oik.10353]

Effects of experimental warming at the microhabitat scale on oak leaf traits and insect herbivory across a contrasting environmental gradient

Cristina Gasperini;Giovanni Iacopetti;Federico Selvi;
2023

Abstract

Forest microclimatic variation can result in substantial temperature differences at local scales with concomitant impacts on plant defences and herbivory. Such microclimatic effects, however, may differ across abiotically contrasting sites depending on background environmental differences. To test these cross-scale effects shaping species ecological and evolutionary responses, we experimentally tested the effects of aboveground microhabitat warming on insect leaf herbivory and leaf defences (toughness, phenolic compounds) for saplings of sessile oak Quercus petraea across two abiotically contrasting sites spanning 9° latitude. We found higher levels of herbivory at the low-latitude site, but leaf traits showed mixed patterns across sites. Toughness and condensed tannins were higher at the high-latitude site, whereas hydrolysable tannins and hydroxycinnamic acids were higher at the low-latitude site. At the microhabitat scale, experimental warming increased herbivory, but did not affect any of the measured leaf traits. Condensed tannins were negatively correlated with herbivory, suggesting that they drive variation in leaf damage at both scales. Moreover, the effects of microhabitat warming on herbivory and leaf traits were consistent across sites, i.e. effects at the microhabitat scale play out similarly despite variation in factors acting at broader scales. These findings together suggest that herbivory responds to both microhabitat (warming) and broad-scale environmental factors, whereas leaf traits appear to respond more to environmental factors operating at broad scales (e.g. macroclimatic factors) than to warming at the microhabitat scale. In turn, leaf secondary chemistry (tannins) appears to drive both broad-scale and microhabitat-scale variation in herbivory. Further studies Effects of experimental warming at the microhabitat scale on oak leaf traits and insect herbivory across a contrasting environmental gradient are needed using reciprocal transplants with more populations across a greater number of sites to tease apart plant plasticity from genetic differences contributing to leaf trait and associated herbivory responses across scales and, in doing so, better understand the potential for dynamics such as local adaptation and range expansion or contraction under shifting climatic regimes.
2023
1
10
Goal 15: Life on land
Xoaquín Moreira, Luis Abdala-Roberts, Beatriz Lago-Núñez, Ana Cao, Karen De Pauw, Annelore De Ro, Cristina Gasperini, Per-Ola Hedwall, Giovanni Iacopetti , Jonathan Lenoir, Camille Meeussen, Jan Plue, Pieter Sanczuk , Federico Selvi, Fabien Spicher, An Vanden Broeck and Pieter De Frenne
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1333517
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