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Ecology, 81(2), 2000, pp. 500508 2000 by the Ecological Society of America
 

Summary: 500
Ecology, 81(2), 2000, pp. 500508
2000 by the Ecological Society of America
HOST-RANGE EVOLUTION: ADAPTATION AND TRADE-OFFS IN FITNESS
OF MITES ON ALTERNATIVE HOSTS
ANURAG A. AGRAWAL1
Center for Population Biology, University of California, Davis, California 95616 USA
Abstract. Trade-offs in fitness on different host plants has been a central hypothesis
in explaining the evolutionary specialization of herbivores. Surprisingly, only a few studies
have documented such trade-offs. In this paper, I present results from a selection experiment
that demonstrates trade-offs in host plant use for a polyphagous spider mite. Although
adaptation to a novel poor-quality host did not result in detectable costs on a favorable
host, spider mites that had adapted to a poor-quality host lost their ability to tolerate the
poor-quality host when they were reverted to the favorable host for several generations.
Trade-offs in fitness on alternative hosts among herbivorous spider mites remains one of
the classic empirical examples of constraints on the evolution of host range.
Adaptation to the novel poor-quality host was not associated with adaptation to a related
host-plant species or to particular host-plant chemicals that I assayed. Thus, the complexity
of host-plant defenses may restrict host shifts to single species of novel host plants, and
adaptive zone shifts onto entire groups of plants predicted by the Ehrlich and Raven Model

  

Source: Agrawal, Anurag - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Entomollogy, Cornell University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology