Parallel environmental factors drive variation in insect density and plant resistance in the native and invaded ranges

Yuzu Sakata, Timothy P. Craig, Joanne K. Itami, Michimasa Yamasaki, Takayuki Ohgushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Geographic variation in the traits of a species is shaped by variation in abiotic conditions, biotic interactions, and evolutionary history of its interactions with other species. We studied the geographic variation in the density of the lace bug, Corythucha marmorata, and the resistance of tall goldenrod Solidago altissima to the lace bug herbivory in their native range in the United States and invaded range in Japan. We conducted field surveys and reciprocal transplant experiments to examine what abiotic and biotic factors influence variation in lace bug density, and what ecological and evolutionary factors predict the resistance of the host plant between and within the native and invaded ranges. Lace bug density was higher throughout the invaded range than in the native range, higher in populations with warmer climates, and negatively affected by foliage damage by other insects in both ranges. The higher lace bug density in warmer climates was explained by the shorter developmental time of the lace bugs at higher temperatures. The resistance of S. altissima to lace bugs was higher in populations with lace bugs compared to populations without lace bugs in both native and invaded ranges, indicating that the evolutionary history of the interaction with the lace bugs was responsible for the variation in S. altissima resistance in both ranges. The present study revealed that abiotic and biotic factors, including temperature and other herbivorous insects, can drive the geographic variation in lace bug density, which in turn selects for variation in plant resistance in both in the native and invaded ranges. We conclude that the novel combination of factors such as higher temperature and lower number of other herbivorous insects is responsible for the higher lace bug density in the invaded range than in the native range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2873-2884
Number of pages12
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank K. Dixon, J. Bhattacharjee, D. Drees, J. Burton, M. Alford, S. Alford, and T. A. Craig for field work assistance. We thank M. Ikemoto, W. Licht, C. Hafdahl, D. Johnston, P. Miller, M. Helmberger, J. Menchaca, L. Craig, and J. Welch for their assistance in the transplant experiment. We thank T. Ida for helpful advice on statistical analyses, and S. Utsumi for helpful comments on an early version of the manuscript. This study was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through Research Fellowships for Young Scientists to Y. Sakata. (25 390).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the Ecological Society of America


  • Corythucha marmorata
  • Solidago altissima
  • biological invasion
  • exotic insects
  • plant defense
  • plant–insect interaction


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