Biological Invasions (2013) 15, 101-111
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A fast-track for invasion: invasive plants promote the performance of an invasive herbivore
Biological Invasions 15 (1), 101-111
Abstract: With the greater frequency of biological invasions worldwide there is an increased likelihood that exotic species will interact with each other, and such interactions could enhance one another's invasion potential. Although direct and indirect interactions between exotic species have been well documented for plant-herbivore interactions, the majority of studies have focused on a single interaction and on plant rather than herbivore performance. In this study we investigated whether invasive exotic plants could contribute to the invasion of California by an exotic generalist herbivore (Epiphyas postvittana). We tested this expectation in the greenhouse by monitoring the performance of larval and pupal stages of E. postvittana on six pairs of congeneric invasive and native plants. Larval survivorship and pupal weight of E. postvittana were both greater on the invasive species, and larval development time was shorter on the invasive plant species for two of the plant genera. Our results suggest that prior invasion of exotic plants could function as a catalyst for the subsequent invasion of an exotic insect herbivore, at least in the case where they have shared some history, thereby accelerating the invasion process and expansion of its novel geographic range.
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Pest and/or beneficial records:
|Epiphyas postvittana||U.S.A. (SW)|