Emerging pattern of arthropod assemblages, biomass and damage on native and non-native plant species

Anupam Sunny, Swati Diwakar, Gyan Prakash Sharma

Abstract


Assemblages of arthropod on non-native plants are thought to be an important factor contributing to the success of non-native plants. It is hypothesized that is there a difference in the arthropod abundance, biomass and damage between native and non-native plants species. The study investigates arthropods abundance, richness, trophic guilds, arthropod biomass and damage on naturally occurring dominant monocultures of taxonomically close related native (Plectranthus mollis- Lamiaceae) and non-native (Hyptis suaveolens- Lamiaceae) plant species and taxonomically distant native (Justicia adhatoda- Acanthaceae) and non-native (Lantana camara- Verbenaceae) plant species across five sites in India.

A total of 2,697 arthropods were estimated belonging to 14 taxonomic orders. It was interesting to observe that average arthropod abundance per plant among native and non-native plant species did not differ. Principal component analysis exhibited that insect orders separate out according to their presence and abundance on plant species. Arthropod biomass and damage caused by herbivores on selected native and non-natives plant species was also not significantly different.  Predator abundance was high on non-native H. suaveolens than native P. mollis indicating the potential attribute of plant relatedness and role of arthropod trophic guilds assemblages on native and non-native studies. Plant relatedness and arthropod trophic guilds emerged as a key component determining arthropod assemblages on native and non-native plant species. The emerging pattern of arthropod in non-native dominated environments will narrow the gap for habitat restoration.


Keywords


arthropod diversity; herbivory load, non-native plants; trophic guilds; plant relatedness.

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