Gall-inducing insects provide insights into plant systematic relationships

Warren G. Abrahamson, George Melika, Robert Scrafford, György Csóka

Research output: Article

64 Citations (Scopus)


Field surveys of cynipid gall-inducer occurrences on Quercus species were conducted in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, USA. All cynipids demonstrated strong host species and organ fidelity. One result of this specialization is effective niche partitioning among cynipids. The host-association patterns of these specialist herbivores should reflect similarities among oaks, thus we clustered oak species according to their cynipid distributions. Cynipids distinguished small differences among their hosts. A dendrogram of oak species based on cynipid distributions was largely congruent with botanical arrangements. Cynipid occurrences offer information helpful to resolving some aspects of oak systematics. Collaborative efforts between taxonomic botanists and entomologists will be useful in resolving a variety of plant and insect systematic problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1165
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - jan. 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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