Reconstructing community assembly in time and space reveals enemy escape in a Western Palearctic insect community

Stone, Graham N.; Lohse, Konrad; Nicholls, James A.; Fuentes-Utrilla, Pablo; Sinclair, Frazer; Schonrogge, Karsten; Csoka, Gyorgy; Melika, George; Nieves-Aldrey, Jose-Luis; Pujade-Villar, Juli; Tavakoli, Majide; Askew, Richard R.; Hickerson, Michael J.. 2012 Reconstructing community assembly in time and space reveals enemy escape in a Western Palearctic insect community. Current Biology, 22 (6). 532-537.

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How geographically widespread biological communities assemble remains a major question in ecology. Do parallel population histories allow sustained interactions (such as host-parasite or plant-pollinator) among species, or do discordant histories necessarily interrupt them? Though few empirical data exist, these issues are central to our understanding of multispecies evolutionary dynamics. Here we use hierarchical approximate Bayesian analysis of DNA sequence data for 12 herbivores and 19 parasitoids to reconstruct the assembly of an insect community spanning the Western Palearctic and assess the support for alternative host tracking and ecological sorting hypotheses. We show that assembly occurred primarily by delayed host tracking from a shared eastern origin. Herbivores escaped their enemies for millennia before parasitoid pursuit restored initial associations, with generalist parasitoids no better able to track their hosts than specialists. In contrast, ecological sorting played only a minor role. Substantial turnover in host-parasitoid associations means that coevolution must have been diffuse, probably contributing to the parasitoid generalism seen in this and similar systems. Reintegration of parasitoids after host escape shows these communities to have been unsaturated throughout their history, arguing against major roles for parasitoid niche evolution or competition during community assembly.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 2 - Biogeochemistry and Climate System Processes > BGC - 2.4 - Develop model frameworks to predict future impact of environmental drivers ...
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hails
ISSN: 0960-9822
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Click on the Official URL to access full text of published version, available 12 months after publicaiton. The attached document is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Current Biology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Current Biology, 22 (6). 532-537. 10.1016/j.cub.2012.01.059
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 23 Apr 2012 15:00 +0 (UTC)

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