Access

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 Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Interannual Changes in Folivory and Bird Insectivory along a Natural Productivity Gradient in Northern Patagonian Forests

C. Noemi Mazía, Thomas Kitzberger and Enrique J. Chaneton
Ecography
Vol. 27, No. 1 (Feb., 2004), pp. 29-40
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3683781
Page Count: 12
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Interannual Changes in Folivory and Bird Insectivory along a Natural Productivity Gradient in Northern Patagonian Forests
Preview not available

Abstract

Trophic regulation models suggest that the magnitude of herbivory and predation (top-down forces) should vary predictably with habitat productivity. Theory also indicates that temporal abiotic variation and within-trophic level heterogeneity both affect trophic dynamics, but few studies addressed how these factors interact over broad-scale environmental gradients. Here we document herbivory from leaf-feeding insects along a natural rainfall/productivity gradient in Nothofagus pumilio forests of northern Patagonia, Argentina, and evaluate the impact of insectivorous birds on foliar damage experienced by tree saplings at each end of the gradient. The study ran over three years (1997-2000) comprising a severe drought (1998-1999), which allowed us to test how climatic events alter top-down forces. Foliar damage tended to increase towards the xeric, least productive forests. However, we found a predictable change of insect guild prevalence across the forest gradient. Leaf miners accounted for the greater damage recorded in xeric sites, whereas leaf chewers dominated in the more humid and productive forests. Interannual folivory patterns depended strongly on the feeding guild and forest site. Whereas leaf-miner damage decreased during the drought in xeric sites, chewer damage increased after the drought in the wettest site. Excluding birds did not affect leaf damage from miners, but generally increased chewer herbivory on hydric and xeric forest saplings. Indirect effects elicited by bird exclusion became most significant after the drought, when total folivory levels were higher. Thus, interannual abiotic heterogeneity markedly influenced the amount of folivory and strength of top-down control observed across the forest gradient. Moreover, our results suggest that spatial turnovers between major feeding guilds may need be considered to predict the dynamics of insect herbivory along environmental gradients.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
29
    29
  • Thumbnail: Page 
30
    30
  • Thumbnail: Page 
31
    31
  • Thumbnail: Page 
32
    32
  • Thumbnail: Page 
33
    33
  • Thumbnail: Page 
34
    34
  • Thumbnail: Page 
35
    35
  • Thumbnail: Page 
36
    36
  • Thumbnail: Page 
37
    37
  • Thumbnail: Page 
38
    38
  • Thumbnail: Page 
39
    39
  • Thumbnail: Page 
40
    40