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Gall-induction in insects: evolutionary dead-end or speciation driver?

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Hardy, N. B. and Cook, L. G. (2010) Gall-induction in insects: evolutionary dead-end or speciation driver? BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10 (1). p. 257. ISSN 1471-2148


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-10-257


The tree of life is significantly asymmetrical - a result of differential speciation and extinction - but general causes of such asymmetry are unclear. Differences in niche partitioning are thought to be one possible general explanation. Ecological specialization might lead to increases in diversification rate or, alternatively, specialization might limit the evolutionary potential of specialist lineages and increase their extinction risk. Here we compare the diversification rates of gall-inducing and non-galling insect lineages. Compared with other insect herbivores feeding on the same host plant, gall-inducing insects feed on plant tissue that is more nutritious and less defended, and they do so in a favorable microhabitat that may also provide some protection from natural enemies. We use sister-taxon comparisons to test whether gall-inducing lineages are more host-specific than non-galling lineages, and more or less diverse than non-gallers. We evaluate the significance of diversity bipartitions under Equal Rates Markov models, and use maximum likelihood model-fitting to test for shifts in diversification rates.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Open access PDF attached
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Science > Biology > Genetics
Plant pests and diseases
Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection
Live Archive:29 Sep 2020 05:22
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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