Eco‐evolutionary feedbacks among pollinators, herbivores, and their plant resources
AffiliationDepartment of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona
floral nectar evolution
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CitationMcPeek, S. J., Bronstein, J. L., & McPeek, M. A. (2022). Eco-evolutionary feedbacks among pollinators, herbivores, and their plant resources. Evolution.
Rights© 2022 The Authors. Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.
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AbstractEco-evolutionary feedbacks among multiple species occur when one species affects another species’ evolution via its effects on the abundance and traits of a shared partner species. What happens if those two species enact opposing effects on their shared partner's population growth? Furthermore, what if those two kinds of interactions involve separate traits? For example, many plants produce distinct suites of traits that attract pollinators (mutualists) and deter herbivores (antagonists). Here, we develop a model to explore how pollinators and herbivores may influence each other's interactions with a shared plant species via evolutionary effects on the plant's nectar and toxin traits. The model results predict that herbivores indirectly select for the evolution of increased nectar production by suppressing plant population growth. The model also predicts that pollinators indirectly select for the evolution of increased toxin production by plants and increased counterdefenses by herbivores via their positive effects on plant population growth. Unless toxins directly affect pollinator foraging, plants always evolve increases in attraction and defense traits when they interact with both kinds of foragers. This work highlights the value of incorporating ecological dynamics to understand the entangled evolution of mutualisms and antagonisms in natural communities.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2022 The Authors. Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.