If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution

Paul R. Ehrlich and Peter H. Raven
Evolution
Vol. 18, No. 4 (Dec., 1964), pp. 586-608
DOI: 10.2307/2406212
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2406212
Page Count: 23
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution
Preview not available

Abstract

The reciprocal evolutionary relationships of butterflies and their food plants have been examined on the basis of an extensive survey of patterns of plant utilization and information on factors affecting food plant choice. The evolution of secondary plant substances and the stepwise evolutionary responses to these by phytophagous organisms have clearly been the dominant factors in the evolution of butterflies and other phytophagous groups. Furthermore, these secondary plant substances have probably been critical in the evolution of angiosperm subgroups and perhaps of the angiosperms themselves. The examination of broad patterns of coevolution permits several levels of predictions and shows promise as a route to the understanding of community evolution. Little information useful for the reconstruction of phylogenies is supplied. It is apparent that reciprocal selective responses have been greatly underrated as a factor in the origination of organic diversity. The paramount importance of plant-herbivore interactions in generating terrestrial diversity is suggested. For instance, viewed in this framework the rich diversity of tropical communities may be traced in large part to the hospitality of warm climates toward poikilothermal phytophagous insects.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
586
    586
  • Thumbnail: Page 
587
    587
  • Thumbnail: Page 
588
    588
  • Thumbnail: Page 
589
    589
  • Thumbnail: Page 
590
    590
  • Thumbnail: Page 
591
    591
  • Thumbnail: Page 
592
    592
  • Thumbnail: Page 
593
    593
  • Thumbnail: Page 
594
    594
  • Thumbnail: Page 
595
    595
  • Thumbnail: Page 
596
    596
  • Thumbnail: Page 
597
    597
  • Thumbnail: Page 
598
    598
  • Thumbnail: Page 
599
    599
  • Thumbnail: Page 
600
    600
  • Thumbnail: Page 
601
    601
  • Thumbnail: Page 
602
    602
  • Thumbnail: Page 
603
    603
  • Thumbnail: Page 
604
    604
  • Thumbnail: Page 
605
    605
  • Thumbnail: Page 
606
    606
  • Thumbnail: Page 
607
    607
  • Thumbnail: Page 
608
    608