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Mark C. Erelli Matthew P. Ayres Gregory K. Eaton Altitudinal patterns in host suitability for forest insects
 

Summary: Mark C. Erelli á Matthew P. Ayres á Gregory K. Eaton
Altitudinal patterns in host suitability for forest insects
Received: 21 September 1997 / Accepted: 12 June 1998
Abstract Conspeci®c trees growing at high and low-el-
evations encounter dierent growing conditions and
may vary in their suitability as hosts for herbivorous
insects. Mountain tree populations may be more resis-
tant to herbivory if low temperatures constrain growth
more than they constrain photosynthesis, resulting in
increased secondary metabolism (temperature hypothe-
sis). Alternatively, mountain trees may be fertilized by
atmospheric nitrogen deposition and become more pal-
atable to insects (atmospheric deposition hypothesis).
We evaluated these two hypotheses by comparing high-
and low-elevation trees with insect bioassays and ana-
lyses of foliar nitrogen and condensed tannin. Contrary
to the temperature hypothesis, high-elevation foliage
had higher leaf nitrogen (six of six tree species) and al-
lowed higher growth rates of Lymantria dispar larvae
(®ve of six tree species). The nitrogen deposition hy-

  

Source: Ayres, Matthew.P. - Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology