Community genetic interactions mediate indirect ecological effects between a parasitoid wasp and rhizobacteria

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  2. Dr Catherine T├ętard-Jones
Author(s)Zytynska SE, Fleming S, Tetard-Jones C, Kertesz MA, Preziosi RF
Publication type Article
ISSN (print)0012-9658
ISSN (electronic)1939-9170
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Indirect ecological effects (IEEs) clearly influence species dynamics and abundance, yet relatively little is known about how they influence the evolution of species involved. While genetic variation in the species causing and responding to the IEE has obvious effects, the influence of genetic variation in intermediate species remains unexamined. Given the often counterintuitive responses of populations to IEEs this seems a significant omission. Following a community genetics approach, we used a model tetra-trophic system (parasitoid wasp, aphid, barley and rhizobacteria) to investigate the effect of genetic interactions within the two linking species (aphids and barley) on the IEE of rhizobacteria on wasps. We show that 12.4% of the variation in wasp size, a proxy for fitness, is explained by higher-order interactions between aphid genotype, barley genotype and presence or absence of rhizobacteria (GenotypeBarleyxGenotypeAphidxEnvironmentRhizobacteria). Thus, the IEE of rhizobacteria on the parasitoid wasp is influenced by the specific combination of aphid and barley genotypes that mediate the interactions. In some cases changes in the genotypes of the intermediate species completely reverses the effect of rhizobacteria on wasp size. Our work demonstrates that within-species genetic variation is important in shaping IEEs in communities, an essential component of community evolutionary processes.
PublisherEcological Society of America
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