Modeling the potential distribution and conservation status of three species of oak gall wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) in the Iberian range



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Rodriguez, A. and Gómez Sánchez, José Francisco and Nieves-Aldrey, José Luis (2015) Modeling the potential distribution and conservation status of three species of oak gall wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) in the Iberian range. Journal of Insect Conservation, 19 (5). pp. 921-934. ISSN 1366-638X, ESSN: 1572-9753

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Cynipids (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae) induce a wide variety of complex galls on plants of different botanical families, particularly on Quercus species. Cynipid galls are well known to host large communities of insects, providing fundamental ecological niches for different animal taxa, which are organized in structured and relatively isolated communities at the microhabitat level. Gall communities of Quercus woodlands could be a conservation concern considering some risks, which affect several species of the Parasitica group of Hymenoptera, within which gall wasps and their parasitoids and inquilines are included. These risks concerning Parasitica species are mainly due to three causes: their high trophic level, high host specialization and the lack of knowledge of their biology. In this paper, a preliminary approach to this issue is presented for the Iberian–Balearic range. We model and study the ecological niche of three cynipid gall species that induce galls on Quercus species (Andricus quercustozae, Biorhiza pallida and Plagiotrochus quercusilicis). The cynipid gall species were selected for their different sets of host species and life cycle. The Ecological Niche Factor Analysis and two niche models built for each species (MAXENT and Mahalanobis Distances) support the interpretation that the bioclimatic variables considered have effects on cynipids through their respective sets of host plants. In addition, the results regarding A. quercustozae are consistent with the hypothetical existence of cryptic sexual generation (exposed in other works) parasitizing cork oak (Quercus suber), which could have another key role in its conservation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cynipid galls; Parasitoids; Quercus; Mahalanobis distances MAXENT; Ecological Niche modeling; Conservation biology; Insect conservation; Woodlands
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Insects
ID Code:46350
Deposited On:06 Feb 2018 12:24
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:25

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