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Title: Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Insect Communities: A Transplant Experiment
Contributor(s): Nooten, Sabine (author); Andrew, Nigel R  (author)orcid ; Hughes, Lesley (author)
Publication Date: 2014
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085987Open Access Link
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Abstract: Climate change will have profound impacts on the distribution, abundance and ecology of all species. We used a multispecies transplant experiment to investigate the potential effects of a warmer climate on insect community composition and structure. Eight native Australian plant species were transplanted into sites approximately 2.5°C (mean annual temperature) warmer than their native range. Subsequent insect colonisation was monitored for 12 months. We compared the insect communities on transplanted host plants at the warmer sites with control plants transplanted within the species native range. Comparisons of the insect communities were also made among transplanted plants at warmer sites and congeneric plant species native to the warmer transplant area. We found that the morphospecies composition of the colonising Coleoptera and Hemiptera communities differed markedly between transplants at the control compared to the warmer sites. Community structure, as described by the distribution of feeding guilds, was also found to be different between the controls and transplants when the entire Coleoptera and Hemiptera community, including non-herbivore feeding guilds, was considered. However, the structure of the herbivorous insect community showed a higher level of consistency between plants at control and warm sites. There were marked differences in community composition and feeding guild structure, for both herbivores and non-herbivores, between transplants and congenerics at the warm sites. These results suggest that as the climate warms, considerable turnover in the composition of insect communities may occur, but insect herbivore communities may retain elements of their present-day structure.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: PLoS One, 9(1), p. 1-10
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1932-6203
Field of Research (FOR): 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
060808 Invertebrate Biology
069902 Global Change Biology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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