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Changes in Oak Gall Wasps Species Diversity (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) in Relation to the Presence of Oak Powdery Mildew (Erysiphe alphitoides) Open Access


Author or creator
Zargaran, M.R.
Erbilgin, N.
Ghosta, Y.
Additional contributors
Cynipid gall wasps
Oak forest
Tree-mediated interactions
Species diversity
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Plant-mediated interactions usually lead to multipartite interactions in a community of organisms. To evaluate the impact of oak powdery mildew Erysiphe alphitoides infestation on the distributions of cynipid oak gall wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae), a field survey was conducted in West Azerbaijan Province, Iran, in 2 consecutive years of 2009-2010. Multiple samples were taken from both infected and uninfected trees (Quercus spp.) at 4 different sites where maximum activity of E. alphitoides occurred and cynipid galls exhibited complete development. The species diversity and richness of gall-forming wasps were estimated and also parameters such as Simpson's index, Shannon's H', and the Sorensen similarity quotient were calculated. Data were also analyzed by independent-samples t-test to compare the mean numbers of galls occurring on infected and uninfected trees. Results clearly indicated that the highest richness and diversity of oak gall-forming wasps were consistently found on uninfected trees at all study sites in the 2 consecutive years. Further, the number and diversity of gall-forming wasps were negatively correlated with the extent (percentage) of pathogen infection, and trees with the heaviest E. alphitoides infection had the lowest numbers of gall-forming wasps. In addition, E. alphitoides decreased the rate of Sorensen's coefficient between regions where oak trees infected with E. alphitoides were sampled. This study demonstrates plant-mediated interactions between a native pathogen and a community of gall-forming insects on oak trees.
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© 2012 Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
Citation for previous publication
Zargaran MR, N Erbilgin, Y Ghosta. (2012). Changes in Oak Gall Wasps Species Diversity (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) in Relation to the Presence of Oak Powdery Mildew (Erysiphe alphitoides). Journal of Zoological Studies, 51(2), 175-184.  
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