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Turenki, Finland

Nyman T.,University of Eastern Finland | Vikberg V.,Liinalammintie 11 As. 6 | Smith D.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Boeve J.-L.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2010

Background. Ecological speciation is a process in which a transiently resource-polymorphic species divides into two specialized sister lineages as a result of divergent selection pressures caused by the use of multiple niches or environments. Ecology-based speciation has been studied intensively in plant-feeding insects, in which both sympatric and allopatric shifts onto novel host plants could speed up diversification. However, while numerous examples of species pairs likely to have originated by resource shifts have been found, the overall importance of ecological speciation in relation to other, non-ecological speciation modes remains unknown. Here, we apply phylogenetic information on sawflies belonging to the 'Higher' Nematinae (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) to infer the frequency of niche shifts in relation to speciation events. Results. Phylogenetic trees reconstructed on the basis of DNA sequence data show that the diversification of higher nematines has involved frequent shifts in larval feeding habits and in the use of plant taxa. However, the inferred number of resource shifts is considerably lower than the number of past speciation events, indicating that the majority of divergences have occurred by non-ecological allopatric speciation; based on a time-corrected analysis of sister species, we estimate that a maximum of c. 20% of lineage splits have been triggered by a change in resource use. In addition, we find that postspeciational changes in geographic distributions have led to broad sympatry in many species having identical host-plant ranges. Conclusion. Our analysis indicates that the importance of niche shifts for the diversification of herbivorous insects is at present implicitly and explicitly overestimated. In the case of the Higher Nematinae, employing a time correction for sister-species comparisons lowered the proportion of apparent ecology-based speciation events from c. 50-60% to around 20%, but such corrections are still lacking in other herbivore groups. The observed convergent but asynchronous shifting among dominant northern plant taxa in many higher-nematine clades, in combination with the broad overlaps in the geographic distributions of numerous nematine species occupying near-identical niches, indicates that host-plant shifts and herbivore community assembly are largely unconstrained by direct or indirect competition among species. More phylogeny-based studies on connections between niche diversification and speciation are needed across many insect taxa, especially in groups that exhibit few host shifts in relation to speciation. © 2010 Nyman et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Nyman T.,University of Eastern Finland | Nyman T.,University of Zurich | Leppanen S.A.,University of Eastern Finland | Varkonyi G.,Finnish Environment Institute | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2015

Studies on the determinants of plant-herbivore and herbivore-parasitoid associations provide important insights into the origin and maintenance of global and local species richness. If parasitoids are specialists on herbivore niches rather than on herbivore taxa, then alternating escape of herbivores into novel niches and delayed resource tracking by parasitoids could fuel diversification at both trophic levels. We used DNA barcoding to identify parasitoids that attack larvae of seven Pontania sawfly species that induce leaf galls on eight willow species growing in subarctic and arctic-alpine habitats in three geographic locations in northern Fennoscandia, and then applied distance- and model-based multivariate analyses and phylogenetic regression methods to evaluate the hierarchical importance of location, phylogeny and different galler niche dimensions on parasitoid host use. We found statistically significant variation in parasitoid communities across geographic locations and willow host species, but the differences were mainly quantitative due to extensive sharing of enemies among gallers within habitat types. By contrast, the divide between habitats defined two qualitatively different network compartments, because many common parasitoids exhibited strong habitat preference. Galler and parasitoid phylogenies did not explain associations, because distantly related arctic-alpine gallers were attacked by a species-poor enemy community dominated by two parasitoid species that most likely have independently tracked the gallers' evolutionary shifts into the novel habitat. Our results indicate that barcode- and phylogeny-based analyses of food webs that span forested vs. tundra or grassland environments could improve our understanding of vertical diversification effects in complex plant-herbivore-parasitoid networks. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

A new species, Stenomalina rufigaster sp. n., is described based on females and males found in Suurisuo, a bog in Janakkala, southern Finland. The female is easily separated from all other species of the genus in having mostly yellowish red gaster. 13 females and 7 males have been captured mainly in July and August in 1979-1993 in the pine marshy area of the bog. The new species is compared with the closely similar S. micans (Olivier). The biology of the new species is unknown. © Entomologica Fennica. 30 December 2014. Source

Roslin T.,University of Helsinki | Varkonyi G.,Finnish Environment Institute | Koponen M.,Tuoppitie 5 C | Vikberg V.,Liinalammintie 11 As. 6 | Nieminen M.,University of Helsinki
Ecography | Year: 2014

That larger areas will typically host more diverse ecological assemblages than small ones has been regarded as one of the few fundamental 'laws' in ecology. Yet, area may affect not only species diversity, but also the trophic structure of the local ecological assemblage. In this context, recent theory on trophic island biogeography offers two clear-cut predictions: that the slope of the species-area relationship should increase with trophic rank, and that food chain length (i.e. the number of trophic levels) should increase with area. These predictions have rarely been verified in terrestrial systems. To offer a stringent test of key theory, we focused on local food chains consisting of trophic specialists: plants, lepidopteran herbivores, and their primary and secondary parasitoids. For each of these four trophic levels, we surveyed species richness across a set of 20 off-shore continental islands spanning a hundred-fold range in size. We then tested three specific hypotheses: that species richness is affected by island size, that the slope of the species-area curve is related to trophic rank, and that such differences in slope translate into variation in food chain length with island size. Consistent with these predictions, estimates of the species-area slope steepened from plants through herbivores and primary parasitoids to secondary parasitoids. As a result of the elevated sensitivity of top consumers to island size, food chain length decreased from large to small islands. Since island size did not detectably affect the ratio between generalists and specialists among either herbivores (polyphages vs oligophages) or parasitoids (idiobionts vs koinobionts), the patterns observed seemed more reflective of changes in the overall number of nodes and levels in local food webs than of changes in their linking structure. Overall, our results support the trophic-level hypothesis of island biogeography. Per extension, they suggest that landscape modification may imperil food web integrity and vital biotic interactions. © 2013 The Authors. Source

Stigenberg J.,Swedish Museum of Natural History | Vikberg V.,Liinalammintie 11 As. 6 | Belokobylskij S.A.,Polish Academy of Sciences
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2011

The new gregarious parasitoid Meteorus acerbiavorus sp. nov. (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) was reared from the cocoons of Acerbia alpina (Quensel) (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae) in north-western Finnish Lapland. This species belongs to Meteorus rubens (Nees) species group and differs from the most related M. rubens in the following features: the eyes densely setose; the median lobe of the mesoscutum, scutellum, mesopleuron, and the hind coxa entirely or at least partly rugulose-granulate or rugose-areolate and sometimes with granulation; the ovipositor subapically with distinct dorsal node; the ventral borders of the first metasomal tergum weakly separated by narrow space in its basal half; the colour of the body and legs mostly or entirely dark; the fore wing more or less darkened. Phylogenetic relationships among several Meteorus species close to M. rubens including new M. acerbiavorus were investigated based on DNA sequence fragments of the mitochondrial COI and the nuclear 28S rDNA genes. The discussions on the species groups of Meteorus, on distribution of Acerbia alpina in the Holarctic and on its known parasitoids are presented. © 2011 Taylor & Francis. Source

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