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Evolutionary response to coexistence with close relatives: increased resistance against specialist herbivores without cost for climatic-stress resistance

Abstract : Why can hosts coexist with conspecifics or phylogenetically proximate neighbours despite sharingspecialist enemies? Do the hosts evolve increased enemy resistance? If so, does this have costs interms of climatic-stress resistance, or in such neighbourhoods, does climatic-stress select for resis-tances that are multifunctional against climate and enemies? We studied oak (Quercus petraea)descendants from provenances of contrasting phylogenetic neighbourhoods and climates in a 25-year-old common garden. We found that descendants from conspecific or phylogenetically proxi-mate neighbourhoods had the toughest leaves and fewest leaf miners, but no reduction in cli-matic-stress resistance. Descendants from such neighbourhoods under cold or dry climates hadthe highest flavonol and anthocyanin levels and the thickest leaves. Overall, populations facingphylogenetically proximate neighbours can rapidly evolve herbivore resistance, without cost to cli-matic-stress resistance, but possibly facilitating resistance against cold and drought via multifunc-tional traits. Microevolution might hence facilitate ecological coexistence of close relatives andthereby macroevolutionary conservatism of niches.
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Mickael Pihain, Pille Gerhold, Alexis Ducousso, Andreas Prinzing. Evolutionary response to coexistence with close relatives: increased resistance against specialist herbivores without cost for climatic-stress resistance. Ecology Letters, Wiley, 2019, 22 (8), pp.1285-1296. ⟨10.1111/ele.13285⟩. ⟨hal-02181398⟩

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