Special Issue "Interactions between Oaks and Insects"

A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Diversity".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 August 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Raul Bonal
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain
Interests: acorns; engineer species; insect biodiversity; Quercus; oak–insect interactions; trophic interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Oaks (Quercus spp.) are popular trees that have attracted the interest of researchers, forest managers, conservationists, and the general public. Oaks are widespread over the temperate forests of the Northern Hemisphere, being usually the most common species. These trees form part of the culture of many human societies, have a significant economic importance and, above all, play a crucial role in the ecosystem functioning. As a true engineer species, they not only host large numbers of organisms with which they interact directly, but also create environmental conditions that allow for the presence of many others. This Special Issue focuses on oak–insect interactions, keeping a wide perspective. Articles on the ecology of the interactions between oaks and acorn predators, leaf feeders, wood borers, or gall formers are welcome. At the same time, we encourage manuscripts analyzing how the micro-environmental conditions favored by oaks condition insect species richness and community composition.

Dr. Raul Bonal
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.dlhwdz.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diversity is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Incidence of Galls on Sympatric California Oaks: Ecological and Physiological Perspectives
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13010020 - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Galls are abnormal outgrowths on the external tissues of plants caused by a restricted group of organisms. In this study, we surveyed the incidence and diversity of galling structures in sympatric oak species of a biological preserve (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, NC, USA). [...] Read more.
Galls are abnormal outgrowths on the external tissues of plants caused by a restricted group of organisms. In this study, we surveyed the incidence and diversity of galling structures in sympatric oak species of a biological preserve (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, NC, USA). We also measured different physiological parameters (SLA-specific leaf area, chlorophyll, nitrogen, flavonol, anthocyanin, and water content) in galled and ungalled leaves on the same individuals of the most abundant oak species (Quercus agrifolia, Q. lobata, and Q. douglasii). Overall, Q. lobata showed the highest gall incidence, with 64.5% of the sampled leaves affected by galls, followed by Q. douglasii, Q. agrifolia, Q. durata, and Q. kelloggii. The proportion of stems with galls was considerably lower than for leaves in all oak species, ranging from 0% incidence in Q. kelloggii to 27.4% in Q. lobata. The highly schlerophyllous Q. agrifolia supported the most diverse galling community at Jasper Ridge, with ten species, mostly belonging to the Cynipidae family. Our results show that leaf galling had no significant impact on the studied ecophysiological variables. The lack of differences between galled and ungalled leaves under controlled conditions (same tree and position in the tree) suggests that the ecophysiological variables measured are not significantly affected by galling agents or that our data collected for fully-developed galls (end of summer) are not sensitive enough to detect differences. However, there were some trends in plant responses to galling. Changes in galled vs. ungalled leaves were greater in flavonols, followed by chlorophyll, nitrogen, anthocyanin, SLA, and water content, indicating a nutrient deficiency in the plant nutrients. Our findings underscore the complexity of the gall-plant interaction and suggest some promising lines of future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Oaks and Insects)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Environmental Traits and Landscape Management on the Biodiversity of Saproxylic Beetles in Mediterranean Oak Forests
Diversity 2020, 12(12), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120451 - 27 Nov 2020
Abstract
This study assesses the effects of environmental traits and landscape management on the biodiversity of saproxylic beetles from “dehesas” located in Sierra Morena Mountains (Córdoba, Southern Iberian Peninsula). The dehesa is an open savanna-like landscape with mature/old trees scattered on a pasture cover [...] Read more.
This study assesses the effects of environmental traits and landscape management on the biodiversity of saproxylic beetles from “dehesas” located in Sierra Morena Mountains (Córdoba, Southern Iberian Peninsula). The dehesa is an open savanna-like landscape with mature/old trees scattered on a pasture cover where both living and dead wood are of great importance for the maintenance of macroinvertebrate fauna. The study was carried out in five plots, with different environmental features and management. A total of 137 branches belonging to the four main tree species present in the area were collected, classified, and kept under four different thermal conditions. From January to June 2019, the adult emergences were followed. A total of 466 saproxylic specimens of 31 species were obtained, 5 of them included in red lists of protected fauna. Two Bostrichidae species (Lichenophanes numida Lesne and Scobicia pustulata Fab.) and two Cerambycidae (Chlorophorus ruficornis Oliv. and Trichoferus fasciculatus Faldermann) are included in the “European Red List of Saproxylic Beetles”; and the Clerid Tillus ibericus Bahillo de la Puebla, López–Colón and García–Paris, is included in the “Red Book of Invertebrate of Andalucía”. Differences were observed regarding the diversity and abundance among the plots and among the tree species from which the beetles emerged. Simple regression analyses revealed negative relationships between tree density/Buprestidae, livestock/Bostrichidae, and land use/Cerambycidae. Multivariant logistic regression analysis did not find significant relationships among environmental traits and saproxylic diversity. Results confirmed that dry wood was a main resource for the maintenance dehesas’ biodiversity because it constitutes an ecological niche exploited by a significant set of saproxylic beetles belonging to the Bostrichidae, Buprestidae, and Cerambycidae families, in addition to other guilds of species, mainly Carabidae and Cleridae, which feed on the above-mentioned groups. Our results also support that increasing environmental temperature accelerates the development of Buprestidae, but this effect was not evident for the Bostrichidae species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Oaks and Insects)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Carabids Influenced by Small-Scale Admixture of Oak Trees in Pine Stands
Diversity 2020, 12(10), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12100398 - 15 Oct 2020
Abstract
In a region with poor soil fertility, low annual precipitation and large areas of homogenous Pinus sylvestris L. forests, conservation of old sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) trees is one option to enrich structure and species richness. We studied the affinities [...] Read more.
In a region with poor soil fertility, low annual precipitation and large areas of homogenous Pinus sylvestris L. forests, conservation of old sessile oak (Quercus petraea (Matt.) Liebl.) trees is one option to enrich structure and species richness. We studied the affinities of Carabus coriaceus, C. violaceus, C. hortensis and C. arvensis for specific tree species and the resultant intra- and interspecific interactions. We focused on their temporal and spatial distributions. Pitfall traps were used as a surface-related capture method on a grid over an area of three hectares. Generalised linear models and generalised linear geostatistical models were used to analyse carabid activity densities related to distance-dependent spatial effects corresponding to tree zones (oak, oak–pine, pine). The results demonstrated significant spatial affinities among these carabids, especially for females and during the period of highest activity. Individuals of C. coriaceus showed a tendency to the oak zone and C. hortensis exhibited a significant affinity to the oak–pine mixture. Imagines of C. arvensis and C. violaceus were more closely related to pine. The observed temporal and spatial coexistence of the different Carabus species reveals that single admixed old oak trees can support greater diversity within pine-dominated forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Oaks and Insects)
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