Eur. J. Entomol. 114: 215-221, 2017 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2017.026

Do the arthropod communities on a parasitic plant and its hosts differ?

Alba LÁZARO-GONZÁLEZ, José A. HÓDAR, Regino ZAMORA
Departamento de Ecología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Avda. Fuentenueva s/n, E-18071 Granada, Spain; e-mails: albalazaro@ugr.com, jhodar@ugr.es, rzamora@ugr.es

Parasitic plants growing on tree branches may be a novel niche and phytoresource for arthropods. The spatial continuity between hosts and their parasites in canopies might provide a homogeneous environment for arthropod communities, but differences in mistletoe leaves and host needles could be exploited by different species of arthropods. Therefore, it is important to determine insect-community assemblages in order to discover the role of parasitic plants as a different habitat for arthropods. Thus, we aim to evaluate the level of similarity between the arthropod community on mistletoe (Viscum album) and that on its two principal pine hosts, Black pine (Pinus nigra) and Scots pine (P. sylvestris), on a Mediterranean mountain. Our results reveal that, irrespective of the species of pine host, V. album has a stable, independent and simple arthropod trophic web, composed mainly of two specialist hemipteran herbivores, Cacopsylla visci (Psyllidae) and Pinalitus viscicola (Miridae), and a hemipteran predator, Anthocoris visci (Anthocoridae). Despite this, the composition of the arthropod communities differed significantly on both host species, with a greater richness and diversity on Scots than Black pine and these differences are not reflected in the community on mistletoe. Overall, we conclude that, although Viscum album is considered to be a pest of pine, its presence increases the heterogeneity of the forest canopy by providing a novel habitat for a new and specific community of arthropods. In addition, this is a new record for and most probably an extension of the southernmost limit of the known geographical distribution of the arthropod community inhabiting V. album.

Keywords: Mistletoe, Viscum album, hemiparasitic plant, pine host, Pinus, arthropod communities, specialist insect, Cacopsylla visci, Pinalitus viscicola, Anthocoris visci, Hemiptera

Received: December 19, 2016; Accepted: March 14, 2017; Revised: March 14, 2017; Published online: April 12, 2017Show citation

ACS AIP APA ASA Harvard Chicago IEEE ISO690 MLA NLM Turabian Vancouver
LÁZARO-GONZÁLEZ, A., HÓDAR, J.A., & ZAMORA, R. (2017). Do the arthropod communities on a parasitic plant and its hosts differ? Eur. J. Entomol.114(1), 2017.000. doi: 10.14411/eje.2017.026.
Download citation

References

  1. Anderson S.J. & Braby M.F. 2009: Invertebrate diversity associated with tropical mistletoe in a suburban landscape from northern Australia. - North. Territ. Nat. 21: 2-23.
  2. Briggs J. 2011: Mistletoe (Viscum album): A brief review of its local status with recent observations on its insects associations and conservation problems. - Proc. Cotteswold Natur Fld Club 45: 181-193.
  3. Burns A.E. 2009: Diversity and Dynamics of the Arthropod Assemblages Inhabiting Mistletoe in Eucalypt Woodlands. PhD thesis, Charles Sturt University, Albury-Wodonga, Australia.
  4. Burns A.E. & Watson D.M. 2013: Islands in a sea of foliage: Mistletoes as discrete components of forest canopies. In Lowman M. (ed.): Treetops at Risk: Challenges of Global Canopy Ecology and Conservation. Springer, New York, pp. 215-222.
  5. Burns A.E., Cunningham S.A. & Watson D.M. 2011: Arthropod assemblages in tree canopies: a comparison of orders on box mistletoe (Amyema miquelii) and its host eucalypts. - Austral. J. Entomol. 50: 221-230. Go to original source...
  6. Burns A.E., Taylor G.S., Watson D.M. & Cunningham S.A. 2014: Diversity and host specificity of Psylloidea (Hemiptera) inhabiting box mistletoe, Amyema miquelii (Loranthaceae) and three of its host Eucalyptus species. - Austral. Entomol. 54: 306-314. Go to original source...
  7. Cardoso P., Erwin T.E., Borges P.A.V. & New T.R. 2011: The seven impediments in invertebrate conservation and how to overcome them. - Biol. Conserv. 144: 2647-2655. Go to original source...
  8. CMAOT 2008: Usos del suelo y coberturas vegetales en Andalucía, por Espacio Natural Protegido, 2007. Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio, Junta de Andalucía. URL: www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/web/Bloques_Tematicos/Estadisticas_e_Indicadores/Estadisticas_Oficiales_de_la_Consejeria_de_Medio_Ambiente/SueloUso/usoscob_enp--2007.xls.
  9. CMAOT 2015: Temperaturas et precipitaciones medias anuales en grandes áreas geográficas de Andalucía, 1995-2015. Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio, Junta de Andalucía. URL: http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/medioambiente/vem/?c=Menu/tema/283.
  10. Cooney S.J., Watson D.M. & Young J. 2006: Mistletoe nesting in Australian birds: a review. - Emu 106: 1-12. Go to original source...
  11. Fisher J.P., Phoenix G.K., Childs D.Z., Press M.C., Smith S.W., Pilkington M.G. & Cameron D.D. 2013: Parasitic plant litter input: a novel indirect mechanism influencing plant community structure. - New Phytol. 198: 222-231. Go to original source...
  12. Graffis A.M. & Kneitel J.M. 2015: A parasitic plant increases native and exotic plant species richness in vernal pools. - AoB Plants 7: plv100, 10 pp.
  13. Hansen L.O. & Hodkinson I.D. 2006: The mistletoe associated psyllid Cacopsylla visci (Curtis, 1835) (Homoptera, Psyllidae) in Norway. - Norw. J. Entomol. 53: 89-91.
  14. Hellrigl K. 2006: Untersuchungen über Insekten der Misteln in Südtirol (Viscum album: Loranthaceae). - Forest Observer 2/3: 43-68.
  15. IUCN 2016: 2016 IUCN Red List Summary Statistics. URL: http://www.iucnredlist.org/about/summary-statistics.
  16. López Sáez J.A. & Sanz de Bremond C. 1992: Viscum album L. y sus hospedantes en la Península Ibérica. - Bol. Sanid. Veget. Plagas 18: 817-825.
  17. Mellado A., Morillas L., Gallardo A. & Zamora R. 2016: Temporal dynamic of parasite-mediated linkages between the forest canopy and soil processes and the microbial community. - New Phytol. 211: 1382-1392. Go to original source...
  18. Mellado A. & Zamora R. 2015: Spatial heterogeneity of a parasitic plant drives the seed-dispersal pattern of a zoochorous plant community in a generalist dispersal system. - Funct. Ecol. 20: 459-467.
  19. Muñoz C., Pérez V., Cobos P., Hernández R. & Sánchez G. 2007: Viscum album L. 1753. In Sanidad forestal: Guía en imágenes de plagas, enfermedades y otros agentes presentes en los bosques. 2nd ed. Mundi-Prensa, Madrid, pp. 458-459.
  20. New T.R. 1998: Invertebrate Surveys for Conservation. Oxford University Press, New York, 252 pp.
  21. Pennings S.C. & Callaway R.M. 2002: Parasitic plants: parallels and contrasts with herbivores. - Oecologia 131: 479-489. Go to original source...
  22. Pimm S.L. 1991: The Balance of Nature? Ecological Issues in the Conservation of Species and Communities. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 448 pp.
  23. R development Core Team 2015: R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna.
  24. Room P.M. 1972: The constitution and natural history of the fauna of the mistletoe Tapinanthus bangwensis (Engl. & K. Krause) growing on cocoa in Ghana. - J. Anim. Ecol. 41: 519-535. Go to original source...
  25. Sangüesa-Barreda G., Linares J.C. & Camarero J.J. 2012: Mistletoe effects on Scots pine decline following drought events: insights from within-tree spatial patterns, growth and carbohydrates. - Tree Physiol. 32: 585-598. Go to original source...
  26. Schultz J.C. 1983: Habitat selection and foraging tactics of caterpillars in heterogeneous trees. In Denno R.F. & McClure M.S. (eds): Variable Plants and Herbivores in Natural and Managed Systems. Academic Press, New York, pp. 61-90.
  27. Struwe I., Gertsson C.A. & Coulianos C.C. 2009: [Insects monophagous on mistletoe (Viscum album L.) newly discovered in Sweden: Cacopsylla visci (Curtis, 1835) (Hemiptera, Psyllidae) and Pinalitus viscicola (Puton, 1888) (Hemiptera, Miridae).] - Entomol. Tidskr. 130: 155-160 [in Swedish, English abstract].
  28. Tassone R.A. & Majer J.D. 1997: Abundance of arthropods in tree canopies of Banksia woodland on the Swan Coastal Plain. - J. R. Soc. West. Aust. 80: 281-286.
  29. Těšitel J., Plavcová L. & Cameron D.D. 2010: Interactions between hemiparasitic plants and their hosts: the importance of organic carbon transfer. - Plant Signal. Behav. 5: 1072-1076. Go to original source...
  30. Umucalilar H.D., Gülşen N., Coşkun B., Hayirli A. & Dural H. 2007: Nutrient composition of mistletoe (Viscum album) and its nutritive value for ruminant animals. - Agrofor. Syst. 71: 77-87. Go to original source...
  31. Varga I., Keresztes B. & Poczai P. 2012: Data to the Hungarian insect fauna of European mistletoe (Viscum album). - Növényvédelem 4: 153-164.
  32. Watson D.M. 2001: Mistletoe - A keystone resource in forests and woodlands worldwide. - Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 32: 219-249. Go to original source...
  33. Watson D.M. 2015: Disproportionate declines in ground-foraging insectivorous birds after mistletoe removal. - PloS one 10(12): e0142992, 12 pp. Go to original source...
  34. Watson D.M. & Herring M. 2012: Mistletoe as a keystone resource: an experimental test. - Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (B) 279: 3853-3860. Go to original source...
  35. Weisser W.W. & Siemann E. 2004: The various effects of insects on ecosystem functioning. In Weisser W.W. & Siemann E. (eds): Insects and Ecosystem Function. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 3-24.
  36. Whittaker P.L. 1982: Community Ecology of Phoradendron tomentosum in Southern Texas. PhD Thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 122 pp.
  37. Zuber D. 2004: Biological flora of Central Europe: Viscum album L. - Flora 199: 181-203. Go to original source...

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original publication is properly cited. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.