17 Works

Data from: Insect herbivory and herbivores of Ficus species along a rainforest elevational gradient in Papua New Guinea

Katerina Sam, Bonny Koane, Legi Sam, Anna Mrazova, Simon Segar, Martin Volf, Petr Simek, Martin Moos, Mentap Sisol & Vojtech Novotny
Classic research on elevational gradients in plant-herbivore interactions holds that insect herbivore pressure is stronger under warmer climates of low elevations. However, recent work has questioned this paradigm, arguing that it oversimplifies the ecological complexity in which plant-insect herbivore interactions are embedded. Knowledge of antagonistic networks of plants and herbivores is however crucial for understanding the mechanisms that govern ecosystem functioning. We examined herbivore damage and insect herbivores of eight species of genus Ficus (105...

Data from: Patterns of nitrogen-fixing tree abundance in forests across Asia and America

Duncan N. L. Menge, Ryan A. Chisholm, Stuart J. Davies, Kamariah Abu Salim, David Allen, Mauricio Alvarez, Norm Bourg, Warren Y. Brockelman, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, Nathalie Butt, Min Cao, Wirong Chanthorn, Wei-Chun Chao, Keith Clay, Richard Condit, Susan Cordell, João Batista Da Silva, H. S. Dattaraja, Ana Cristina Segalin De Andrade, Alexandre A. Oliveira, Jan Den Ouden, Michael Drescher, Christine Fletcher, Christian P. Giardina, C. V. Savitri Gunatilleke … & Tak Fung
Symbiotic nitrogen (N)‐fixing trees can provide large quantities of new N to ecosystems, but only if they are sufficiently abundant. The overall abundance and latitudinal abundance distributions of N‐fixing trees are well characterised in the Americas, but less well outside the Americas. Here, we characterised the abundance of N‐fixing trees in a network of forest plots spanning five continents, ~5,000 tree species and ~4 million trees. The majority of the plots (86%) were in America...

Data from: Network reorganization and breakdown of an ant–plant protection mutualism with elevation

Nichola S. Plowman, Amelia S.C. Hood, Jimmy Moses, Conor Redmond, Vojtech Novotny, Petr Klimeš, Tom M. Fayle & Amelia S. C. Hood
Both the abiotic environment and the composition of animal and plant communities change with elevation. For mutualistic species, these changes are expected to result in altered partner availability, and shifts in context-dependent benefits for partners. To test these predictions, we assessed the network structure of terrestrial ant-plant mutualists and how the benefits to plants of ant inhabitation changed with elevation in tropical forest in Papua New Guinea. At higher elevations, ant-plants were rarer, species richness...

Data from: Insects on plants: explaining the paradox of low diversity within specialist herbivore guilds

Vojtech Novotny, Scott E. Miller, Jan Hrcek, Leontine Baje, Yves Basset, Owen T. Lewis, Alan J. A. Stewart & George D. Weiblen
Classical niche theory explains the coexistence of species through their exploitation of different resources. Assemblages of herbivores coexisting on a particular plant species are thus expected to be dominated by species from host-specific guilds with narrow, coexistence-facilitating niches, rather than by species from generalist guilds. Exactly the opposite pattern is observed for folivores feeding on trees in New Guinea. The least specialized mobile chewers were most species-rich, followed by the moderately specialized semi-concealed and exposed...

Data from: The insect-focused classification of fruit syndromes in tropical rainforests: an inter-continental comparison

Chris Dahl, Richard Ctvrtecka, Sofia Gripenberg, Owen T. Lewis, Simon T. Segar, Petr Klimes, Katerina Sam, Dominic Rinan, Jonah Filip, Roll Lilip, Pitoon Kongnoo, Montarika Panmeng, Sutipun Putnaul, Manat Reungaew, Marleny Rivera, Hector Barrios, Stuart J. Davies, Sarayudh Bunyavejchewin, Joseph S. Wright, George D. Weiblen, Vojtech Novotny & Yves Basset.
We propose a new classification of rainforest plants into eight fruit syndromes, based on fruit morphology and other traits relevant to fruit-feeding insects. This classification is compared with other systems based on plant morphology or traits relevant to vertebrate fruit dispersers. Our syndromes are based on fruits sampled from 1,192 plant species at three Forest Global Earth Observatory plots: Barro Colorado Island (Panama), Khao Chong (Thailand) and Wanang (Papua New Guinea). The three plots differed...

Data from: High specialization and limited structural change in plant‐herbivore networks along a successional chronosequence in tropical montane forest

Conor M. Redmond, John Auga, Bradley Gewa, Simon T. Segar, Scott E. Miller, Kenneth Molem, George D. Weiblen, Phillip T. Butterill, Gibson Maiyah, Amelia S.C. Hood, Martin Volf, Leonardo R. Jorge, Yves Basset, Vojtech Novotny, Philip T. Butterill & Amelia S. C. Hood
Secondary succession is well‐understood, to the point of being predictable for plant communities, but the successional changes in plant‐herbivore interactions remains poorly explored. This is particularly true for tropical forests, despite the increasing importance of early successional stages in tropical landscapes. Deriving expectations from successional theory, we examine properties of plant‐herbivore interaction networks while accounting for host phylogenetic structure along a succession chronosequence in montane rainforest in Papua New Guinea. We present one of the...

Data from: Determinants of litter decomposition rates in a tropical forest: functional traits, phylogeny and ecological succession

Piotr Szefer, Carlos P. Carmona, Kryštof Chmel, Marie Konečná, Martin Libra, Kenneth Molem, Vojtech Novotny, Simon T. Segar, Eva Švamberková, Theodor-Sebastian Topliceanu & Jan Leps
Plant litter decomposition is one of the most important processes in terrestrial ecosystems, as it is a key factor in nutrient cycling. Decomposition rates depend on environmental factors, but also plant traits, as these determine the character of detritus. We measured litter decomposition rate for 57 common tree species displaying a variety of functional traits within four sites in primary and four sites in secondary tropical forest in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. The phylogenetic...

Data from: Varyingly hungry caterpillars: predictive models and foliar chemistry suggest how to eat a rainforest

Simon T. Segar, Martin Volf, Brus Isua, Mentap Sisol, Conor M. Redmond, Margaret E. Rosati, Bradley Gewa, Kenneth Molem, Chris Dahl, Jeremy D. Holloway, Yves Basset, Scott E. Miller, George D. Weiblen, Juha-Pekka Salminen & Vojtech Novotny
A long-term goal in evolutionary ecology is to explain the incredible diversity of insect herbivores and patterns of plant host use in speciose groups like tropical Lepidoptera. Here we used standardised food-web data, multigene phylogenies of both trophic levels and plant chemistry data to model interactions between Lepidoptera larvae (caterpillars) from two lineages (Geometridae and Pyraloidea) and plants in species-rich lowland rainforest in New Guinea. Model parameters were used to make and test blind predictions...

Data from: Higher predation risk for insect prey at low latitudes and elevations

Tomas Roslin, Bess Hardwick, Vojtech Novotny, William K. Petry, Nigel R. Andrew, Ashley Asmus, Isabel C. Barrio, Yves Basset, Andrea Larissa Boesing, Timothy C. Bonebrake, Erin K. Cameron, Wesley Dáttilo, David A. Donoso, Pavel Drozd, Claudia L. Gray, David S. Hik, Sarah J. Hill, Tapani Hopkins, Shuyin Huang, Bonny Koane, Benita Laird-Hopkins, Liisa Laukkanen, Owen T. Lewis, Sol Milne, Isaiah Mwesige … & Eleanor M. Slade
Biotic interactions underlie ecosystem structure and function, but predicting interaction outcomes is difficult. We tested the hypothesis that biotic interaction strength increases toward the equator, using a global experiment with model caterpillars to measure predation risk. Across an 11,660-kilometer latitudinal gradient spanning six continents, we found increasing predation toward the equator, with a parallel pattern of increasing predation toward lower elevations. Patterns across both latitude and elevation were driven by arthropod predators, with no systematic...

Data from: Experiments with artificial nests provide evidence for ant community stratification and nest site limitation in a tropical forest

Ondřej Mottl, Jacob Yombai, Tom. M. Fayle, Vojtěch Novotný & Petr Klimeš
Ants are dominant in tropical forests and many species nest in hollow cavities. The manner in which species are vertically stratified in these complex habitats is not known, with lack of nest sites being proposed to limit ant populations. Here we assess ant community stratification and nest site limitation in a lowland rainforest in New Guinea using experimental addition of artificial bamboo nests of two cavity sizes (small: ~12 mm. large: ~32 mm diameter) placed...

Nest microhabitats and tree size mediate shifts in ant community structure across elevation in tropical rainforest canopies

Nichola Plowman, Ondrej Mottl, Vojtech Novotny, Clifson Idigel, Frank Jurgen Philip & Petr Klimes
Declines or mid-elevation peaks in invertebrate diversity with elevation are often attributed to climate and geometric constraints. However, vegetation structure may also drive diversity patterns, especially for tree-dwelling species, via its effects on microhabitat use and competitive interactions. Here we investigate these effects on the diversity and community structure of tree-nesting ants over elevation. We exhaustively sampled ant nests in 1254 trees within continuous plots of primary rainforest at low (200 m a.s.l.), mid (900...

Weak effects of birds, bats and ants on their arthropod prey on pioneering tropical forest gap vegetation

Piotr Szefer, Kenneth Molem, Austin Sau & Vojtech Novotny
The relative roles of plants competing for resources versus top-down control of vegetation by herbivores, in turn impacted by predators, during early stages of tropical forest succession remain poorly understood. Here we examine the impact of insectivorous birds, bats and ants exclusion on arthropods communities on replicated 5x5 m of pioneering early successional vegetation plots in lowland tropical forest gaps in Papua New Guinea. In plots from which focal taxa of predators were excluded we...

Elevational contrast in predation and parasitism risk to caterpillars in a tropical rainforest

Martin Libra, Salape Tulai, Vojtech Novoty & Jan Hrcek
Invertebrate predators and parasitoids are among the most important natural enemies of insect herbivores. Yet, the strength of natural enemy pressure along an altitudinal gradient and interactions between groups of natural enemies (such as predation on parasitized prey) are not well known. Various methods are used to reveal mortality factors of herbivores. Predation pressure is usually assessed through exposure of artificial prey. However, this method cannot provide information about the attacks of parasitoids, or their...

Data from: Speciation in a keystone plant genus is driven by elevation: a case study in New Guinean Ficus

Simon T. Segar, Martin Volf, , Brus Isua, Mentap Sisol, Legi Sam, Katerina Sam, Daniel Souto-Vilarós & Vojtech Novotny
Much of the world's insect and plant biodiversity is found in tropical and subtropical ‘hotspots’, which often include long elevational gradients. These gradients may function as ‘diversity pumps’ and contribute to both regional and local species richness. Climactic conditions on such gradients often change rapidly along short vertical distances, and may result in local adaptation and high levels of population genetic structure in plants and insects. We investigated the population genetic structure of two species...

Data from: The global distribution of diet breadth in insect herbivores

Matthew L. Forister, Vojtech Novotny, Anna K. Panorska, Leontine Baje, Yves Basset, Philip T. Butterill, Lukas Cizek, Phyllis D. Coley, Francesca Dem, Ivone R. Diniz, Pavel Drozd, Mark Fox, Andrea E. Glassmire, Rebecca Hazen, Jan Hrcek, Joshua P. Jahner, Ondrej Kaman, Tomasz J. Kozubowski, Thomas Kursar, Owen T. Lewis, John Lill, Robert J. Marquis, Scott E. Miller, Helena C. Morais, Masashi Murakami … & Lee A. Dyer
Understanding variation in resource specialization is important for progress on issues that include coevolution, community assembly, ecosystem processes, and the latitudinal gradient of species richness. Herbivorous insects are useful models for studying resource specialization, and the interaction between plants and herbivorous insects is one of the most common and consequential ecological associations on the planet. However, uncertainty persists regarding fundamental features of herbivore diet breadth, including its relationship to latitude and plant species richness. Here...

Data from: Pollination along an elevational gradient mediated both by floral scent and pollinator compatibility in the fig and fig‐wasp mutualism

Daniel Souto-Vilarós, Magali Proffit, Bruno Buatois, Michal Rindos, Mentap Sisol, Thomas Kuyaiva, Jan Michalek, Clive T. Darwell, Martine Hossaert-Mckey, George D. Weiblen, Vojtech Novotny, Simon T. Segar & Brus Isua
In the fig (Moraceae) and fig‐wasp (Agaonidae) mutualism, scent is believed to be of primary importance in pollinator attraction and maintenance of species specificity. Scent divergence between closely related Ficus species seems sufficient in promoting reproductive isolation through pollinator behaviour, starting the process of speciation. We investigated volatile organic compound (VOC) variation from figs in several Ficus species endemic to Papua New Guinea. Sister species of section Papuacyse and subspecies of Ficus trichocerasa substitute each...

Data from: Insects on plants: explaining the paradox of low diversity within specialist herbivore guilds

Vojtech Novotny, Scott E. Miller, Jan Hrcek, Leontine Baje, Yves Basset, Owen T. Lewis, Alan J. A. Stewart & George D. Weiblen
Classical niche theory explains the coexistence of species through their exploitation of different resources. Assemblages of herbivores coexisting on a particular plant species are thus expected to be dominated by species from host-specific guilds with narrow, coexistence-facilitating niches, rather than by species from generalist guilds. Exactly the opposite pattern is observed for folivores feeding on trees in New Guinea. The least specialized mobile chewers were most species-rich, followed by the moderately specialized semi-concealed and exposed...

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