The Oscillation Hypothesis of Host-Plant Range and Speciation

Niklas Janz and Sören Nylin

in Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520251328
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933828 | DOI:
The Oscillation Hypothesis of Host-Plant Range and Speciation

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Both seed plants and plant-feeding insects have undergone rapid diversification to a much larger extent than their respective sister groups, but it is not clear why this has happened. While explanations for how insects could have influenced the diversification of flowering plants have typically focused on pollination, explanations for the potential impact of plants on the diversification of insects have often revolved around herbivory. This chapter explores how the utilization of flowering plants as food resources could have promoted speciation rates in insects. It suggests a comprehensive explanation for the generation of variation in host use, the subsequent pruning of this variation, and how it can influence the diversification rates of plant-feeding insects. First, the chapter briefly outlines the general hypothesis for how diversity of phytophagous insects may be promoted by oscillations in host-plant range. It then discusses colonizations and host-range expansions, as well as diet breadth and geographical range, specialization and fragmentation, sympatric speciation, parapatric speciation, and allopatric speciation.

Keywords: seed plants; phytophagous insects; speciation; diversification; flowering plants; host use; oscillations; oscillation hypothesis; colonizations; host-plant range

Chapter.  11966 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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