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Variable Selection on Eurosta's Gall Size. II. A Path Analysis of the Ecological Factors Behind Selection

Arthur E. Weis and Audrey Kapelinski
Evolution
Vol. 48, No. 3 (Jun., 1994), pp. 734-745
DOI: 10.2307/2410482
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410482
Page Count: 12
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Variable Selection on Eurosta's Gall Size. II. A Path Analysis of the Ecological Factors Behind Selection
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Abstract

We examined phenotypic selection exerted by natural enemies on the gall-making fly Eurosta solidaginis in an extensive field study of 16 populations, spanning four generations. Gallmakers that induce small galls are vulnerable to the attack of Eurytoma gigantea. This imposes upward directional selection on gall size. Insectivorous birds, predominantly the downy woodpecker, are more likely to attack larvae that induce large galls than small ones, and this imposes downward directional selection. We used path analysis to explore the relative contributions of these natural enemies to the net directional selection on gall size. The path models further examined several ecological factors that influence selection intensity through their effects on parasitoid and bird attack rates. Net directional selection varied more strongly with E. gigantea attack than bird attack. Competitive interactions among birds and the three parasitoid species, including E. gigantea, were evidenced by low winter bird attack rates in fields where a high proportion of galls contained the overwintering parasitoids. Eurytoma gigantea attack was heavier in fields where mean gall size was small and bird attack heavier in fields where mean gall size was large. Neither birds nor E. gigantea showed simple density-dependent attack. Data suggested a form of frequency-dependent attack by birds but not by E. gigantea.

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