SP04c Relationship between insect genetic diversity and plant species diversity (sp04c genetics)

Given that Immigration, drift, and selection have parallel effects on species diversity and genetic diversity, and species diversity within communities and genetic diversity within species may have causal effects on each other, Vellend & Geber (2005) proposed a positive relationship between species diversity and genetic diversity. Empirical studies indicated that this relationship holds in some plants, and some studies rejected this hypothesis, indicating that potential mechanisms were complicated. In this study, we will test such a relationship at different trophic levels. We will estimate genetic diversity of phytophagous insect species and their relationship with species diversity of plant communities. We expect positive relationship between them because high plant richness provides heterogeneous diets of phytophagous insects. The focal phytophagous insects are acorn weevils. We will use microsatellites as molecular markers. Although microsatellites are generally neutral, higher neutral genetic diversity was found in heterogeneous habitats, and a parallel relationship was observed in weevil diversity revealed by neutral and selective markers. We will sample acorn weevils in autumn from comparative study plots and main plots. Acorn weevils are identified using a barcoding approach. After barcoding the weevils, we genotype the sampled weevils using developed microsatellites, and calculate parameters of genetic diversity. Then the relationships between genetic diversity and species diversity (species richness, diversity and evenness) are tested.


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