The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository
Warning ePrints Soton is experiencing an issue with some file downloads not being available. We are working hard to fix this. Please bear with us.

Interaction engineering: non-trophic effects modify interactions in an insect galler community

Interaction engineering: non-trophic effects modify interactions in an insect galler community
Interaction engineering: non-trophic effects modify interactions in an insect galler community

Theory suggests that non‐trophic interactions can be a major mechanism behind community stability and persistence, but community‐level empirical data are scarce, particularly for effects on species interactions mediated through changes in the physical environment.
Here, we explored how ecosystem engineering effects can feed back to the engineer, not only modulating the engineer’s population density (node modulation) but also affecting its interactions with other species (link modulation).
Gall induction can be viewed as ecosystem engineering since galls serve as habitat for other species. In a community‐level field experiment, we generated treatments with reduced or elevated ecosystem engineering by removing or adding post‐emergence galls to different plots of their host plant in the Brazilian Cerrado. We tested the effect of post‐emergence galls on the galler, as well as on the galler–parasitoid and galler—aphid interactions.
The manipulation of post‐emergence galls had little effect on the galler—abundance and survivorship were not affected, and gall volume changed only slightly—but modified interactions involving the galler, parasitoid wasps and inquiline aphids. Aphid inquilines negatively affected density‐dependent parasitism rates (interaction modification) likely by killing parasitised galling larvae. Post‐emergence galls interfered with aphid inquilinism—likely by the provision of alternative habitat for aphids—and thus interfered with the negative effect of aphids on parasitism (modification of an interaction modification).
This work is one of the few studies to demonstrate experimentally the role played by environment‐mediated interaction modification at a community level in the field. Moreover, by manipulating a species’ ecosystem engineering effect (post‐emergence galls) instead of the species itself, we demonstrate the novel result that populations can be regulated by non‐trophic effects initiated by their own activities that alter their interaction with other species. This reveals that indirect interactions mediated via the environment offer new pathways of feedback loops for population regulation. Our results indicate that interaction modification has the potential to be a key regulatory mechanism underlying interaction variation in nature, and play a major role in community structure, dynamics and stability.
0021-8790
1168-1177
Barbosa, Milton
ea133eb1-5201-467d-8391-61ae9159e0e3
Fernandes, Geraldo Wilson
04c654dd-bd98-4825-8672-80a82ddb9707
Morris, Rebecca J.
f63d9be3-e08f-4251-b6a0-43b312d3997e
Barbosa, Milton
ea133eb1-5201-467d-8391-61ae9159e0e3
Fernandes, Geraldo Wilson
04c654dd-bd98-4825-8672-80a82ddb9707
Morris, Rebecca J.
f63d9be3-e08f-4251-b6a0-43b312d3997e

Barbosa, Milton, Fernandes, Geraldo Wilson and Morris, Rebecca J. (2019) Interaction engineering: non-trophic effects modify interactions in an insect galler community. Journal of Animal Ecology, 88 (8), 1168-1177. (doi:10.1111/1365-2656.13025).

Record type: Article

Abstract


Theory suggests that non‐trophic interactions can be a major mechanism behind community stability and persistence, but community‐level empirical data are scarce, particularly for effects on species interactions mediated through changes in the physical environment.
Here, we explored how ecosystem engineering effects can feed back to the engineer, not only modulating the engineer’s population density (node modulation) but also affecting its interactions with other species (link modulation).
Gall induction can be viewed as ecosystem engineering since galls serve as habitat for other species. In a community‐level field experiment, we generated treatments with reduced or elevated ecosystem engineering by removing or adding post‐emergence galls to different plots of their host plant in the Brazilian Cerrado. We tested the effect of post‐emergence galls on the galler, as well as on the galler–parasitoid and galler—aphid interactions.
The manipulation of post‐emergence galls had little effect on the galler—abundance and survivorship were not affected, and gall volume changed only slightly—but modified interactions involving the galler, parasitoid wasps and inquiline aphids. Aphid inquilines negatively affected density‐dependent parasitism rates (interaction modification) likely by killing parasitised galling larvae. Post‐emergence galls interfered with aphid inquilinism—likely by the provision of alternative habitat for aphids—and thus interfered with the negative effect of aphids on parasitism (modification of an interaction modification).
This work is one of the few studies to demonstrate experimentally the role played by environment‐mediated interaction modification at a community level in the field. Moreover, by manipulating a species’ ecosystem engineering effect (post‐emergence galls) instead of the species itself, we demonstrate the novel result that populations can be regulated by non‐trophic effects initiated by their own activities that alter their interaction with other species. This reveals that indirect interactions mediated via the environment offer new pathways of feedback loops for population regulation. Our results indicate that interaction modification has the potential to be a key regulatory mechanism underlying interaction variation in nature, and play a major role in community structure, dynamics and stability.

Text
Manuscript_Barbosa_et_al_2019_02_28_Interaction_Engineering_Authors_Accepted_Version - Accepted Manuscript
Download (6MB)
Text
Barbosa_et_al_Supp Mat_2019_02_28 Interaction Engineering Authors Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Request a copy

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 May 2019
Published date: August 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430514
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430514
ISSN: 0021-8790
PURE UUID: 53f6c35b-95da-41a5-97fc-a924575fab48
ORCID for Rebecca J. Morris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0020-5327

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 May 2019 16:30
Last modified: 22 Nov 2021 07:20

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Milton Barbosa
Author: Geraldo Wilson Fernandes

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×