Translator Disclaimer
1 August 2009 Elevational and Seasonal Variation in the Foliar Quality and Arthropod Community of Acer pensylvanicum
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Elevational gradients provide natural experiments for examining how variation in abiotic forces such as nutrient mineralization rates, risk of photodamge, temperature, and precipitation influence plant—insect interactions. At the Coweeta LTER site in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, we examined spatial and temporal variation in striped maple, Acer pensylvanicum, foliar quality and associated patterns in the arthropod community. Variation in herbivore densities was associated more strongly with seasonal variation in plant quality than with spatial variation in quality among three sampling sites. Leaf chewer, but not phloem feeder or arthropod predator, densities increased with elevation. Foliar quality, by our measures, decreased throughout the growing season, with decreases in nitrogen concentrations and increases in lignin concentrations. Foliar quality varied among the three sites but not systematically along the elevational gradient. We conclude that, in this system, temporal heterogeneity in plant quality is likely to be more important to insect herbivores than is spatial heterogeneity and that other factors, such as the abiotic environment and natural enemies, likely have substantial effects on herbivore density.

© 2009 Entomological Society of America
Caralyn B. Zehnder, Kirk W. Stodola, Blake L. Joyce, David Egetter, Robert J. Cooper, and Mark D. Hunter "Elevational and Seasonal Variation in the Foliar Quality and Arthropod Community of Acer pensylvanicum," Environmental Entomology 38(4), 1161-1167, (1 August 2009). https://doi.org/10.1603/022.038.0424
Received: 18 December 2008; Accepted: 1 April 2009; Published: 1 August 2009
JOURNAL ARTICLE
7 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top