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Journal Article

Age-Related Interactions between Calluna vulgaris and Phytophagous Insects

C. H. Gimingham
Oikos
Vol. 44, No. 1, Plant-Animal Interactions. Proceedings of the Third European Ecological Symposium. Lund, 22-26, August 1983 (Mar., 1985), pp. 12-16
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3544036
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3544036
Page Count: 5
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Age-Related Interactions between Calluna vulgaris and Phytophagous Insects
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Abstract

In lowland habitats, on freely-drained substrates, individuals of Calluna vulgaris normally have a life span of between 30 and 40 yr. In the course of this time plants pass through a series of more or less recognisable growth-phases commonly referred to as "pioneer", "building", "mature" and "degenerate". The above-ground portions of the plants harbour substantial faunas of phytophagous insects. A sampling programme, carried out in NE Scotland in stands of Calluna in each of its four phases, revealed marked changes in the composition and diversity of the insect fauna as the plants passed through the successive phases. These changes are summarised and explanation is sought in terms of changes in the morphology of the plant, in the relative proportions of different fractions of the aboveground biomass, and in the chemical composition of the unlignified parts. The above samples were obtained from even-aged stands created by uniform regeneration of Calluna after burning. The results from these stands are compared with the fauna of uneven-aged stands. The effect of heathland management upon the interactions between Calluna and its insect fauna (and, in passing, its vertebrate herbivores), is discussed.

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