The influence of warming on the biogeographic and phylogenetic dependence of herbivore–plant interactions

Xidong Mu, Meng Xu, Anthony Ricciardi, Jaimie T.A. Dick, Du Luo, Hui Wei, Yinchang Hu, Qiwei Wei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Evolutionary experience and the phylogenetic relationships of plants have both been proposed to influence herbivore–plant interactions and plant invasion success. However, the direction and magnitude of these effects, and how such patterns are altered with increasing temperature, are rarely studied. Through laboratory functional response experiments, we tested whether the per capita feeding efficiency of an invasive generalist herbivore, the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, is dependent on the biogeographic origin and phylogenetic relatedness of host plants, and how increasing temperature alters these dependencies. The feeding efficiency of the herbivore was highest on plant species with which it had no shared evolutionary history, that is, novel plants. Further, among evolutionarily familiar plants, snail feeding efficiency was higher on those species more closely related to the novel plants. However, these biogeographic dependencies became less pronounced with increasing temperature, whereas the phylogenetic dependence was unaffected. Collectively, our findings indicate that the susceptibility of plants to this invasive herbivore is mediated by both biogeographic origin and phylogenetic relatedness. We hypothesize that warming erodes the influence of evolutionary exposure, thereby altering herbivore–plant interactions and perhaps the invasion success of plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2231-2241
Number of pages11
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number4
Early online date28 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant/Award Number: 31400487; Central Public‐interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund, CAFS, Grant/Award Number: 2018SJ‐ZH03; Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong, Grant/Award Number: 2014A030313660; Agricultural Biological Resources Protection and Utilization Project of China, Grant/Award Number: 2130108

Funding Information:
We thank Shaopeng Li, Xubing Liu, Nancai Pei, and Hongmei Song for help in phylogenetic analysis. This work was supported by Central Public‐ interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund, CAFS (NO. 2018SJ‐ ZH03) to M.X., the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31400487) to M.X., the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong (2014A030313660) to X.D.M., and Agricultural Biological Resources Protection and Utilization Project of China (2130108) to Y.C.H.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • alien species
  • evolutionary experience
  • functional responses
  • herbivory rate
  • increasing temperature
  • phylogenetic relatedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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