Why Are There So Many Species of Herbivorous Insects in Tropical Rainforests?

@article{Novotn2006WhyAT,
  title={Why Are There So Many Species of Herbivorous Insects in Tropical Rainforests?},
  author={Vojtěch Novotn{\'y} and Pavel Drozd and Scott E. Miller and Miroslav Kulfan and Milan Janda and Yves Basset and George D. Weiblen},
  journal={Science},
  year={2006},
  volume={313},
  pages={1115 - 1118}
}
Despite recent progress in understanding mechanisms of tree species coexistence in tropical forests, a simple explanation for the even more extensive diversity of insects feeding on these plants has been missing. We compared folivorous insects from temperate and tropical trees to test the hypothesis that herbivore species coexistence in more diverse communities could reflect narrow host specificity relative to less diverse communities. Temperate and tropical tree species of comparable… 

Host specificity of Lepidoptera in tropical and temperate forests

TLDR
It is suggested that greater specialization in tropical faunas is the result of differences in trophic interactions; for example, there are more distinct plant secondary chemical profiles from one tree species to the next in tropical forests than in temperate forests as well as more diverse and chronic pressures from natural enemy communities.

Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests

TLDR
Low beta diversity was documented in groups with differing host specificity (fruitflies and ambrosia beetles), suggesting that dispersal limitation does not have a substantial role in shaping the distribution of insect species in New Guinea lowland rainforests.

Differences in tropical vs. temperate diversity in arthropod predators provide insights into causes of latitudinal gradients of species diversity

TLDR
This work contradicts the widely accepted hypothesis that tropical diversity is associated with more specialization of predators, and presents the first standardized tropical-temperate forest comparison of species richness and evenness for understory spiders, a dominant and mega-diverse taxa of generalist predators.

Why species richness of plants and herbivorous insects do or do not correlate

TLDR
It is found that generality of insect communities negatively affected the correlation between species richness of plants and insects, but such negative effect was significant only when the insect species richness was related with the number of plant species interacted with some insect species, instead of with that of total plant species.

Comment on "Why Are There So Many Species of Herbivorous Insects in Tropical Rainforests?"

TLDR
If host specificity is related to host abundance, differences in relative host abundance between tropical and temperate regions may limit any general conclusion that herbivore diversity scales directly with host-plant diversity.

Specialization of rainforest canopy beetles to host trees and microhabitats: not all specialists are leaf-feeding herbivores

TLDR
Effective specialization measures showed that traditional correction factors used to project total species richness in nonherbivorous groups fail to fully capture diversity in the flower-visiting beetle fauna, demonstrating that host specialization is not concentrated within folivores as previously assumed.

Butterfly and moth communities differ in their response to habitat structure in rainforests of Mount Cameroon

Mechanisms structuring tropical communities are still under‐studied, especially in Afrotropical rainforests. Although insect herbivores are considered to depend on plant diversity, we hypothesized

Comparative patterns in taxonomic and functional spider diversities between tropical vs. temperate forests

TLDR
Differences in diversity far surpass previous estimates and exceed tropical–temperate ratios for herbivorous taxa.

Guild-specific patterns of species richness and host specialization in plant-herbivore food webs from a tropical forest.

TLDR
A complex, species-rich plant-herbivore food web for lowland rain forest in Papua New Guinea is described, resolving 6818 feeding links between 224 plant species and 1490 herbivore species drawn from 11 distinct feeding guilds.

Four ways towards tropical herbivore megadiversity.

TLDR
This work presents a comprehensive scheme in which tropical herbivore megadiversity can be partitioned into the following components: more host plant species per se, more arthropod species per plant species, higher host specificity of herbivores, or higher species turnover in the tropics than in the temperate zone.
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TLDR
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