Native insects on non-native plants: About biodiversity and effect of specialism

  • Kim Meijer (Speaker)

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


Nowadays approximately 10% of all plant species is introduced (Heywood 1989). These introduced plants lack most of their natural phytophagous insect fauna opening a niche for insects living in the introduced habitat. But since many of these insect species are highly specialized to their host plants host-shifts might be rear and evolutionary adaptation might be needed. Many authors state that the number of species living on introduced plants is much lower compared to native species.Unfortunately in most studies the sample is very low, often comparing two or only a few species. Here I will show an overview of several studies and combining their data for an analysis of the differences in insect biodiversity between native and introduced plants.In the second part I will focus on the effect of specialism on the chance insects shift towards a novel (introduced) host. Many phytophagous species are specialists – monophagous –, living on one or only a few species of host plants within the same genus. Others are less specialized living on several plant genera within the same family – oligophagous – and only a small proportion of the species are real generalists living on different plant families – polyphagous – (Thompson 1994; Menken 1996). Here I will present the results of a study on the effect of specialism on the type of host shift. Was the shift within or between plant genus/family.
EvenementstitelNetherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2009
Organisator Netherlands Ecological Research Network (NERN)
LocatieLunteren, NetherlandsToon op kaart
Mate van erkenningInternational