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2.To test these hypotheses, we measured the consumption rate of plant species for a tropical and a temperate generalist herbivore in controlled feeding trials by offering them a large variety of 40 plant species from different geographical origins. Therefore, whether a plant was novel depended on the herbivore used, allowing us to disentangle plant identity from plant novelty. We also measured plant chemical traits and determined whether traits, geographic origin or novelty best explained herbivore consumption rates.
3.Both generalist herbivores consumed more of plants with a high nitrogen-to-phenolic compounds ratio, irrespective of the plant's novelty to the herbivore. A pattern of increasing plant's nitrogen-to-phenolics ratio with latitude could explain why both the tropical and temperate herbivore consumed more of plants from temperate regions. Plant novelty and its geographic origin no longer explained consumption rates once differences in nitrogen-to-phenolic compounds ratio were taken into account.
4.We show that differences in plant traits along a latitudinal cline determine herbivore consumption rates, irrespective of whether plants are novel or familiar. Therefore, we propose that integrating evolutionary novelty theory with plant traits and biogeography will increase our understanding of the consequences of plant species migration beyond biogeographical barriers.
Temperate and tropical snails share an appetite for native and non-native temperate aquatic plants: Lay summaryGrutters, B. M. C., Roijendijk, Y., Verberk, W. C. E. P. & Bakker, E. S., 2017, (Functional Ecology; no. 20170631).
Research output: Working paper/discussion paper › Web article › Popularizing
Data from: Plant traits and plant biogeography control the biotic resistance provided by generalist herbivores
Grutters, B. M. C. (Creator), Roijendijk, Y. O. A. (Creator), Verberk, W. C. E. P. (Creator) & Bakker, (. E. S. (Creator), Dryad, 26 Jan 2017