Table_1_Human-Mediated Land Use Change Drives Intraspecific Plant Trait Variation.docx (17.77 kB)
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Table_1_Human-Mediated Land Use Change Drives Intraspecific Plant Trait Variation.docx

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posted on 14.01.2021, 04:27 by Hayley Schroeder, Heather Grab, André Kessler, Katja Poveda

In the Anthropocene, more than three quarters of ice-free land has experienced some form of human-driven habitat modification, with agriculture dominating 40% of the Earth’s surface. This land use change alters the quality, availability, and configuration of habitat resources, affecting the community composition of plants and insects, as well as their interactions with each other. Landscapes dominated by agriculture are known to support a lower abundance and diversity of pollinators and frequently larger populations of key herbivore pests. In turn, insect communities subsidized by agriculture may spill into remaining natural habitats with consequences for wild plants persisting in (semi) natural habitats. Adaptive responses by wild plants may allow them to persist in highly modified landscapes; yet how landscape-mediated variation in insect communities affects wild plant traits related to reproduction and defense remains largely unknown. We synthesize the evidence for plant trait changes across land use gradients and propose potential mechanisms by which landscape-mediated changes in insect communities may be driving these trait changes. Further, we present results from a common garden experiment on three wild Brassica species demonstrating variation in both defensive and reproductive traits along an agricultural land use gradient. Our framework illustrates the potential for plant adaptation under land use change and predicts how defense and reproduction trait expression may shift in low diversity landscapes. We highlight areas of future research into plant population and community effects of land use change.