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Microclimate structures communities, predation and herbivory in the High Arctic

Kankaanpaa, Tuomas and Abrego, Nerea and Vesterinen, Eero J. and Roslin, Tomas and Vesterinen, Eero (2021). Microclimate structures communities, predation and herbivory in the High Arctic. Journal of Animal Ecology. 90 , 859-874
[Research article]

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1. In a warming world, changes in climate may result in species-level responses as well as changes in community structure through knock-on effects on ecological interactions such as predation and herbivory. Yet, the links between these responses at different levels are still inadequately understood. Assessing how microclimatic conditions affect each of them at local scales provides information essential for understanding the consequences of macroclimatic changes projected in the future.2. Focusing on the rapidly changing High Arctic, we examine how a community based on a common resource species (avens, Dryas spp.), a specialist insect herbivore (Sympistis zetterstedtii) and natural enemies of lepidopteran herbivores (parasitoids) varies along a multidimensional microclimatic gradient. We ask (a) how parasitoid community composition varies with local abiotic conditions, (b) how the community-level response of parasitoids is linked to species-specific traits (koino- or idiobiont life cycle strategy and phenology) and (c) whether the effects of varying abiotic conditions extend to interaction outcomes (parasitism rates on the focal herbivore and realized herbivory rates).3. We recorded the local communities of parasitoids, herbivory rates on Dryas flowers and parasitism rates in Sympistis larvae at 20 sites along a mountain slope. For linking community-level responses to microclimatic conditions with parasitoid traits, we used joint species distribution modelling. We then assessed whether the same abiotic variables also affect parasitism and herbivory rates, by applying generalized linear and additive mixed models.4. We find that parasitism strategy and phenology explain local variation in parasitoid community structure. Parasitoids with a koinobiont strategy preferred high-elevation sites with higher summer temperatures or sites with earlier snowmelt and lower humidity. Species of earlier phenology occurred with higher incidence at sites with cooler summer temperatures or later snowmelt. Microclimatic effects also extend to parasitism and herbivory, with an increase in the parasitism rates of the main herbivore S. zetterstedtii with higher temperature and lower humidity, and a matching increase in herbivory rates.5. Our results show that microclimatic variation is a strong driver of local community structure, species interactions and interaction outcomes in Arctic ecosystems. In view of ongoing climate change, these results predict that macroclimatic changes will profoundly affect arctic communities.

Authors/Creators:Kankaanpaa, Tuomas and Abrego, Nerea and Vesterinen, Eero J. and Roslin, Tomas and Vesterinen, Eero
Title:Microclimate structures communities, predation and herbivory in the High Arctic
Series Name/Journal:Journal of Animal Ecology
Year of publishing :2021
Page range:859-874
Number of Pages:16
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Arctic, climate change, community ecology, herbivory, parasitoid, species traits
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Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000607375300001
ID Code:22894
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:06 Apr 2021 13:43
Metadata Last Modified:06 Apr 2021 13:51

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