Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Tent caterpillars are robust to variation in leaf phenology and quality in two thermal environments

  • Rana M. Sarfraz (a1), Heather M. Kharouba (a1) and Judith H. Myers (a1)

Abstract

The synchrony between emergence of spring-active, insect herbivores and the budburst of their host plants could be affected by warming temperatures with influences on the availability and quality of foliage as it undergoes physical and chemical changes. This can affect the growth and survival of insects. Here, we used sun-exposed and shaded trees to determine whether the synchrony between egg hatch of western tent caterpillar, Malacosoma californicum pluviale Dyar (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) and budburst of its host red alder, Alnus rubra Bongard (Betulaceae) changes with different thermal environments (temperature and light together). To explore the potential outcome of a shift in phenological synchrony, we used laboratory assays of larval growth and survival to determine the effect of variation in young, youthful and mature leaves from sun-exposed and shaded trees. While the average higher temperature of sun-exposed trees advanced the timing of budburst and egg hatch, synchrony was not disrupted. Leaf quality had no significant influence on growth or survival in the laboratory for early instars reared as family groups. Later instar larvae, however, performed best on mature leaves from sun-exposed trees. The robust relationship between leaf and larval development of western tent caterpillars suggests that warming climates may not have a strong negative impact on their success through shifts in phenological synchrony, but might influence other aspects of leaf quality and larval condition.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence Phone: (604) 822-2131 Fax: (604) 822-2416 E-mail: rsarfraz@zoology.ubc.ca

References

Hide All
Aizen, M.A. & Patterson, W.A. (1995) Leaf phenology and herbivory along a temperature gradient: a spatial test of the phenological window hypothesis. Journal of Vegetable Science 6, 543550.
Ayres, M.P. & MacLean, S.F. (1987) Development of birch leaves and the growth energetics of Epirrita autumnata (Geometridae). Ecology 68, 558568.
Both, C., van Asch, M., Bijlsma, R.G., van den Burg, A.B. & Visser, M.E. (2009) Climate change and unequal phenological changes across four trophic levels: constraints or adaptations? Journal of Animal Ecology 78, 7383.
Briggs, J.B. (1957) Some features of the biology of the winter moth (Operophtera brumata (L.)) on top fruits. Journal of Horticultural Science 32, 108125.
Brown, C.E. (1962) The life history and dispersal of the Bruce spanworm, Operophtera bruceata (Hulst.) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae). Canadian Entomologist 94, 11031107.
Brunner, J.F. (1993) Tent Caterpillars. Available online at http://jenny.tfrec.wsu.edu/opm/displaySpecies.php?pn=580. (accessed 3 October 2012).
Close, D.C. & McArthur, C. (2002) Rethinking the role of many plant phenolics – protection from photodamage not herbivores? Oikos 99, 166172.
Coley, P.D. (1980) Effects of leaf age and plant life history patterns on herbivory. Nature 284, 545546.
Coley, P.D., Bryant, J.P. & Chapin, F.S. III (1985) Resource availability and plant antiherbivore defense. Science 230, 895899.
Crone, E.E. & Jones, C.G. (1999) The dynamics of carbon–nutrient balance: effects of cottonwood acclimation to short- and long-term shade on beetle feeding preferences. Journal of Chemical Ecology 25, 635656.
Donnelly, A., Caffarra, A. & O'Neill, B.F. (2011) A review of climate-driven mismatches between interdependent phenophases in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. International Journal of Biometeorology 55, 805817.
Dudt, J.F. & Shure, D.J. (1994) The influence of light and nutrients on foliar phenolics and insect herbivory. Ecology 75, 8698.
Dury, S.J., Good, F.G., Perrins, C.M., Buse, A. & Kaye, T. (1998) The effects of increasing CO2 and temperature on oak leaf palatability and the implications for herbivorous insects. Global Change Biology 4, 5561.
Edland, T. (1971) Wind dispersal of the winter moth larvae Operophtera brumata L. (Lep., Geometridae) and its relevance to control measures. Norsk Entomologisk Tidsskrift (Norwegian Journal of Entomology) 18, 103107.
Edwards, M. & Richardson, A.J. (2004) Impact of climate change on marine pelagic phenology and trophic mismatch. Nature 430, 881884.
Endara, M.J. & Coley, P.D. (2011) The resource availability hypothesis revisited: a meta-analysis. Functional Ecology 25, 389398.
Feeny, P. (1970) Seasonal changes in oak leaf tannins and nutrients as a cause of spring feeding by winter moth caterpillars. Ecology 51, 565581.
Fitzgerald, T.D. (1995) The Tent Caterpillars. Ithaca, New York, USA. Cornell University Press.
Fortin, M. & Mauffette, Y. (2001) Forest edge effects on the biological performance of the forest tent caterpillar (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) in sugar maple stands. Ecoscience 8, 164172.
Frid, L. & Myers, J.H. (2002) Thermal ecology of western tent caterpillars, Malacosoma californicum pluviale and infection by nucleopolyhedrovirus. Ecological Entomology 27, 665673.
González-Hernández, M., Starkey, E. & Karchesy, J. (2000) Seasonal variation in concentrations of fiber, crude protein, and phenolic compounds in leaves of red alder (Alnus rubra): nutritional implications for cervids. Journal of chemical Ecology 26, 293301.
Harrington, C.A., Zasada, J.C. & Allen, E.A. (1994) Biology of red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.). pp. 322in Hibbs, D.E. & Tarrant, R.F. (Eds) The Biology and Management of Red Alder. Corvallis, Oregon State University Press.
Haukioja, E., Ossipov, V. & Lempa, K. (2002) Interactive effects of leaf maturation and phenolics on consumption and growth of a geometrid moth. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 104, 125136.
Henriksson, J., Haukioja, E., Ossipov, V., Ossipova, S., Sillanpää, S., Kapari, L. & Pihlaja, K. (2003) Effects of host shading on consumption and growth of the geometrid Epirrita autumnata: interactive roles of water, primary and secondary compounds. Oikos 103, 316.
Herms, D.A. & Mattson, W.J. (1992) The dilemma of plants – to grow or defend? Quarterly Review of Biology 67, 283335.
Hicks, B.J., Aegerter, J.N., Leather, S.R. & Watt, A.D. (2007) Asynchrony in larval development of the pine beauty moth, Panolis flammea, on introduced host plant may affect parasitoid efficacy. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 1, 213220.
Hunter, A.F. & Elkinton, J.S. (2000) Effects of synchrony with host plant on populations of a spring-feeding lepidopteran. Ecology 81, 12481261.
Jones, B.C. & Despland, E. (2006) Effects of synchronization with host plant phenology occur early in the larval development of a spring folivore. Canadian Journal of Zoology 84, 628633.
Kerslake, J.E. & Hartley, S.E. (1997) Phenology of winter moth feeding on common heather: effects of source population and experimental manipulation of hatch dates. Journal of Animal Ecology 66, 375385.
Knapp, R. & Casey, T.M. (1986) Thermal ecology, behavior and growth of gypsy moth and eastern tent caterpillars. Ecology 67, 598608.
Koricheva, J., Larsson, S., Haukioja, E. & Keinanen, M. (1998) Regulation of woody plant secondary metabolism by resource availability: hypothesis testing by means of meta-analysis. Oikos 83, 212226.
Larsson, S. & Ohmart, C.P. (1988) Leaf age and larval performance of the leaf beetle Paropis atomaria. Ecological Entomology 13, 1924.
Levesque, K.R., Fortin, M. & Mauffette, Y. (2002) Temperature and food quality effects on growth, consumption, and postingestive utilization efficiencies of the forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research 92, 127136.
Lincoln, D.E. & Mooney, H.A. (1984) Herbivory on Diplacus aurantiacus shrubs in sun and shade. Oecologia 64, 173176.
Lindroth, R.L., Reich, P.B., Tjoelker, M.G., Volin, J.C. & Oleksyn, J. (1993) Light environment alters response to ozone stress in seedlings of Acer saccharum Marsh. and hybrid Populus L. III. Consequences for performance of gypsy moth. New Phytologist 124, 647651.
Louda, S.M. & Rodman, J.E. (1996) Insect herbivory as a major factor in the shade distribution of a native crucifer (Cardamine cardifolia, A. Grey, bittercress). Journal of Ecology 84, 229238.
Lowman, M.D. & Box, J.D. (1983) Variation in leaf toughness and phenolic content among five species of Australian rain forest trees. Australian Journal of Ecology 8, 1725.
Miller, J.C., Hanson, P.E. & Kimberling, D.N. (1991) Development of the gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) on Douglas-fir foliage. Journal of Economic Entomology 84, 461465.
Moon, D.C., Rossi, A.M. & Stiling, P. (2000) The effects of abiotically induced changes in host plant quality (and morphology) on a salt marsh planthopper and its parasitoid. Ecological Entomology 25, 325331.
Moore, L.V., Myers, J.H. & Eng, R. (1988) Western tent caterpillars prefer the open side of the tree, but why? Oikos 51, 321326.
Moran, P.J. & Showler, A.T. (2005) Plant responses to water deficit and shade stresses in pigweed and their influence on feeding and oviposition by the beet armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Environmental Entomology 34, 929937.
Muth, N.Z., Kluger, E., Levy, J.H., Edwards, M.J. & Niesenbaum, R.A. (2008) Increased per capita herbivory in the shade: necessity, feedback, or luxury consumption? Ecoscience 15, 182188.
Myers, J.H. (1992) Experimental manipulation of the phenology of egg hatch in cyclic populations of tent caterpillars. Canadian Entomologist 124, 737742.
Myers, J.H. (2000) Population fluctuations of western tent caterpillars in southwestern British Columbia. Population Ecology 42, 231241.
Nichols-Orians, C.M. (1991) The effects of light on foliar chemistry, growth and susceptibility of seedlings of a canopy tree to an attine ant. Oecologia 86, 552560.
Niesenbaum, R.A. & Kluger, E.C. (2006) When studying the effects of light on herbivory, should one consider temperature? The case of Epimecis hortaria F. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) feeding on Lindera benzoin L. (Lauraceae). Environmental Entomology 35, 600606.
Parmesan, C. (2007) Influences of species, latitudes and methodologies on estimates of phenological response to global warming. Global Change Biology 13, 18601872.
Parry, D., Spence, J.R. & Volney, W.J.A. (1998) Budbreak phenology and natural enemies mediate survival of first-instar forest tent caterpillar (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae). Environmental Entomology 27, 13681374.
Quiring, D.T. (1992) Rapid change in suitability of white spruce for a specialist herbivore, Zeiraphera canadensis, as a function of leaf age. Canadian Journal of Zoology 70, 21322138.
R Development Core Team (2012) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. Available online at http://www.R-project.org. (accessed 3 October 2012).
Raupp, M.J., Werren, J.H. & Sadof, C.S. (1988) Effects of short-term phenological changes in leaf suitability on the survivorship, growth and development of gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) larvae. Environmental Entomology 17, 316319.
Reynolds, L.V., Ayres, M.P., Siccama, T.G. & Holmes, R.T. (2007) Climatic effects on caterpillar fluctuations in northern hardwood forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37, 481491.
Roberts, M.R. & Paul, N.D. (2006) Seduced by the dark side: integrating molecular and ecological perspectives on the influence of light on plant defence against pests and pathogens. New Phytologist 170, 677699.
Rowe, W.J. & Potter, D.A. (2000) Shading effects on susceptibility of Rosa spp. to defoliation by Popillia japonica (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Environmental Entomology 29, 502508.
SAS Institute Inc (2010) SAS User's Guide: Statistics. Cary, NC, USA, SAS Institute.
Singer, M.C. & Parmesan, C. (2010) Phenological asynchrony between herbivorous insects and their hosts: signal of climate change or pre-existing adaptive strategy? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 365, 31613176.
Sipura, M. & Tahvanainen, J. (2000) Shading enhances the quality of willow leaves to leaf beetles – but does it matter? Oikos 91, 550558.
Slansky, F. Jr. (1993) Nutritional ecology: the fundamental quest for nutrients. pp. 2991in Stamp, N.E. & Casey, T.M. (Eds) Caterpillars: Ecological and Evolutionary Constraints on Foraging. New York, NY, USA, Chapman & Hall.
Stamp, N.E. & Bowers, M.D. (1994) Effect of temperature and leaf age on growth versus moulting time of a generalist caterpillar fed plantain (Plantago lanceolata). Ecological Entomology 19, 199206.
Taylor, R.A.J. & Reling, D. (1986) Density/height profile and long-range dispersal of first instar gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). Environmental Entomology 15, 431435.
van Asch, M. & Visser, M.E. (2007) Phenology of forest caterpillars and their host trees: the importance of synchrony. Annual Review of Entomology 52, 3755.
van Dongen, S., Backeljau, T., Matthysen, E. & Dhondt, A.A. (1997) Synchronization of hatching date with budburst of individual host trees (Quercus robur) in the winter moth (Operophtera brumata) and its fitness consequences. Journal of Animal Ecology 66, 113121.
Watt, A.D. & McFarlane, A.M. (1991) Winter moth on Sitka spruce: synchrony of egg hatch and budburst, and its effect on larval survival. Ecological Entomology 16, 387390.
Winder, M. & Schindler, D.E. (2004) Climate change uncouples trophic interactions in an aquatic ecosystem. Ecology 85, 21002106.
Wint, W. (1983) The role of alternative host-plant species in the life of a polyphagous moth, Operophtera brumata (Lepidoptera: Geomatridae). Journal of Animal Ecology 52, 439450.
Yang, Y., & Stamp, N.E. (1996) Simultaneous effects of temperature and multiple allelochemicals on the performance of a Solanaceae specialist caterpillar (Manduca sexta). Ecoscience 3, 8192.
Zalucki, M.P., Clarke, A.R. & Malcolm, S.B. (2002) Ecology and behavior of first instar Lepidoptera. Annual Review of Entomology 47, 361393.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Tent caterpillars are robust to variation in leaf phenology and quality in two thermal environments

  • Rana M. Sarfraz (a1), Heather M. Kharouba (a1) and Judith H. Myers (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.