What factors drive population variability through space and time? Here we assess patterns of abundance of seven species of gall wasps in three genera occurring on the leaves of valley oaks (Quercus lobata ) at 10 sites throughout this species' statewide range in California, from 2000 to 2006. Our primary goals were to understand the factors driving variability in gall abundance and to assess the extent of spatial synchrony in gall wasp communities at both large and small geographic scales. On the large, statewide scale, there was significant site‐to‐site variation in gall abundance, driven in all cases primarily by differences in mean maximum seasonal temperatures, and lesser year‐to‐year variation. In contrast, on the small, local scale, differences were more pronounced from year to year than from tree to tree, and were to some extent correlated with differences in acorn production, suggesting an interaction with the reproductive effort of hosts. Significant spatial synchrony was detected, particularly at the statewide scale, but in no case did synchrony decline significantly with distance, despite sites being up to 741 km apart. Variation in spatial synchrony was correlated with a number of exogenous factors, including seasonal weather conditions, the acorn crop at the statewide scale and soil phosphorus availability at the local scale; however, most variation in spatial synchrony in our analyses remained unexplained.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Population ecology and spatial synchrony in abundance within and among populations of valley oak (Quercus lobata) leaf gall wasps|
|Series title||Population Ecology|
|Contributing office(s)||Fort Collins Science Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|