Presentation Title

"Fine-scale elevation and temporal variation in communities of Drosophila and their Hymenoptera parasitoids."

Presenter's Name(s)

Ben CamberFollow

Abstract

Changes in elevation and time are increasingly used to investigate how interspecific relationships respond to changes in local climatic conditions. While the diversity of many taxa has been shown to decline with altitude due to worsening climate and other abiotic pressures, unimodal diversity peaks at intermediate elevations have been observed for some groups with obligate interactions such as parasitoids and their hosts, suggesting that biotic interactions are crucial in structuring these communities in space and time. I surveyed a focal community of Drosophila fruit flies and their parasitoids at low elevations and along two replicated elevational gradients on Mozdebiwajo (Mt. Mansfield) and Moziozagan (Camel's Hump) (Vermont, USA) using yellow pan traps, banana-baited traps, and hand-netting. Preliminary results indicate diversity declines with elevation for flies and wasps in the focal community, and Hymenoptera as a whole. However, the abundances of some Drosophila species, including Drosophila suzukii, and diversity values of Hymenoptera superfamilies Ceraphronoidea, Diaprioidea, and Platygastroidea peaked at intermediate or multiple elevations, suggesting substantial diversity within the parasitoid clade. Thus, spatio-temporal distributions of individual parasitoid species in host-parasitoid networks may be more constrained by their phylogeny than previously thought, and niche segregation is more likely between distantly related parasitoids.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Sara Helms-Cahan

Status

Graduate

Student College

Graduate College

Program/Major

Biology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

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"Fine-scale elevation and temporal variation in communities of Drosophila and their Hymenoptera parasitoids."

Changes in elevation and time are increasingly used to investigate how interspecific relationships respond to changes in local climatic conditions. While the diversity of many taxa has been shown to decline with altitude due to worsening climate and other abiotic pressures, unimodal diversity peaks at intermediate elevations have been observed for some groups with obligate interactions such as parasitoids and their hosts, suggesting that biotic interactions are crucial in structuring these communities in space and time. I surveyed a focal community of Drosophila fruit flies and their parasitoids at low elevations and along two replicated elevational gradients on Mozdebiwajo (Mt. Mansfield) and Moziozagan (Camel's Hump) (Vermont, USA) using yellow pan traps, banana-baited traps, and hand-netting. Preliminary results indicate diversity declines with elevation for flies and wasps in the focal community, and Hymenoptera as a whole. However, the abundances of some Drosophila species, including Drosophila suzukii, and diversity values of Hymenoptera superfamilies Ceraphronoidea, Diaprioidea, and Platygastroidea peaked at intermediate or multiple elevations, suggesting substantial diversity within the parasitoid clade. Thus, spatio-temporal distributions of individual parasitoid species in host-parasitoid networks may be more constrained by their phylogeny than previously thought, and niche segregation is more likely between distantly related parasitoids.